City native returns to be Concord’s next assessor

  • Jonathan Rice —Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 9/25/2022 5:36:58 PM
Modified: 9/25/2022 5:36:10 PM

Not everyone dreams of becoming a property assessor. Jonathan Rice was no exception.

Once a teacher of engineering and sciences at Merrimack Valley High School, Rice decided that job wasn’t for him and left after two years to return to his old food services position at the New Hampshire International Speedway.

“For me, one of the first things I learned when I was 30 was how young you are at 18 trying to pick a career path,” Rice said. “I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I went to college and my experience with teaching wasn’t a positive one.”

Rice was always interested in the real estate market. That, partnered with his love with math and sciences, made him the perfect consideration for a former colleague who had recently started his own appraisal company and was looking for trustworthy employees.

“When it got down to it, I was closing in on 30 at that point, I had worked five years there [international speedway] full time, I had housing provided for me, I had a company vehicle, I had a salary and it occurred to me that I was never going to make enough to own real estate,” Rice said. “I needed to make a move.”

Next month the Capitol-city native will begin his position as Concord’s Director of Real Estate Assessments following the retirement of the current director Kathryn Temchack.

Back when he was 29, Rice made the decision to get his accreditation to be an appraiser. He started evaluating the value of one property at a time by analyzing comparable homes and neighborhood desirability.

“Then I made the transition to assessing, which is a change in methodology. Now you’re appraising entire communities based on sales,” Rice said.

One of Rice’s responsibilities as a municipal assessor is educating taxpayers on the value of their homes and how that value was calculated.

“Oftentimes, people come into the office and they say they’d like to file an abatement on their taxes, there’s something wrong, they pay too much,” Rice said. “We do value work only if they have a problem with their taxes, and if they’re not over-assessed, I can’t help them.”

Under state law, an assessor is required by state statute to assess properties fairly and equitably. Since 2017, Rice has been the chief assessor of the city of Rochester and returns to Concord with a wealth of knowledge.

“I enjoy the value aspect of it the most,” Rice said. “Real estate value and the fluctuations and capturing that and having success doing that statistically is very rewarding. Equal to that, I love working with a team and developing a team that focuses on accuracy, being ethical and being fair.”

Rice encourages people to look toward the city’s website for resources on how to utilize the city assessor and data on property values, fluctuations and the real estate market.

“We are happy to welcome Mr. Rice to the City of Concord as he takes over the leadership of the department,” said Concord City Manager Tom Aspell in a press release. “We wish Kathy Temchack all the best on her retirement, and know she is leaving the department in great hands.”

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