A few NH towns missed updating veterans’ property tax credits and are working to remedy the oversight

By DAVID BROOKS

Monitor staff

Published: 09-15-2023 5:25 PM

Veterans in at least nine New Hampshire towns may get reduced property tax credits this year because their town meeting didn’t update local ordinances to meet a new state law.

Bow won’t be among them.

Voters in that town had failed to update the ordinance for property tax credits at town meeting in March, but speedily fixed that at a special meeting in August. In fact, they went further, increasing the credit from the previous $500 to $750 by a show of hands.

“It was proposed from the floor and there was an overwhelming vote to do that,” said Town Manager David Stack. The entire meeting, he said, barely took 15 minutes.

The issue came up because the state Legislature passed and Gov. Sununu signed into law HB 1667, which amended eligibility criteria for certain veterans’ property tax credits. That rendered local ordinances based on the earlier law null and void, automatically reducing the tax credit for military veterans to the minimum of $50. Communities that wanted to give their veterans a bigger tax break under what is known as optional or all veterans tax credits, usually $500, had to re-adopt their ordinance at 2023 town meetings.

According to Ora Lemere, assistant commissioner of the Department of Revenue Administration, which keeps track of tax credits among other things, 236 municipalities needed to re-adopt the law but nine failed to put it on the annual ballot, including Bow.

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“We had missed it. The firm we use for assessing services had missed it,” said Stack.

Three of those communities that did not update the tax credit at their annual meetings – Bow, Eppingham and Unity – have remedied the issue at special meetings or indicated they will hold special meetings, Lemere said. It’s unclear what will happen with the other nine, of which Nottingham is the closest to Concord.

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