The annual assessment of properties located within the town to determine fair market value is as of April 1st for tax purposes. The assessment year runs from April 1st through March 31st.
Income Limits: all combined income not more than $30,000 single/ $40,000 married
Assest Limits: not in excess of $75,000 single or married
Exemption Amounts: ages 65-74 - $40,000/ ages 75-79 - $60,000/ age 80 and over - $70,000
Solar Energy Systems Exemption: 100% system value
Veteran's Tax Credit: $500.00
Service Connected Total & Permanent Disability: $700.00
Surviving Spouse of Veteran Killed in Active Duty:
Applications and forms can be found under forms. Completed forms can be mailed to Town of Andover, Assessing Dept, PO Box 61, Andover NH 03216.
Current Use Information
Any owner of land who meets the qualifications set forth in RSA 79-A may apply. Applications must be filed by April 15.
Property Criteria 70-A: IV
The tract or contiguous tract must total 10 acres. The exceptions are: wetland, certified tree farms, and agricultural land producing $2,500 of income on an annual basis.
The tract must meet the requirements of one of the current use categories: farm land, forest land and for unproductive/wetland.
No buildings, appurtenances, or other improvements are allowed on the portion of the tract for which current use is applied.
Application Criteria 79-A: V
The landowner must submit a completed current use application, A-10.
A map of the tract showing the acreage going into current use as well as the acreage remaining out of current use must accompany the application. The map must show the current use categories being applied for.
If applicable, the Soil Potential Index and / or a Forest Stewardship Plan may accompany the application. The application must be filed by April 15th of the tax year.
For complete information regarding Current Use, refer to the Current Use Criteria Booklet.
Timber Tax Information
Deadline for Report of Cut must be filed with the Assessing Dept. within 60 days of completion or May 15, whichever comes first.
Synopsis of New Hampshire Timber Tax Law
The Notice of Intent to Cut: (RSA 79:10)
The State of New Hampshire has a real estate tax and by definition timber is considered to be real estate, therefore taxable. However, the method in which it is taxed is different from other real estate and is described in the State Constitution. Timber is only taxed at the time it is cut and at a rate, which encourages the growing of timber. In order for the municipal assessing officials to be aware of cutting operations they must be notified ofthe cutting by the owner filing a notice of intent to cut timber. The Notice of Intent, which is required by law, notifies the assessing officials, NH Department of Revenue (DRA) and the NH Division of Forest & Lands. Timber on all land ownerships is taxable at 10% of the stumpage value at the time of cutting.
The only exemptions are as follows:
1. 10 MBF saw logs and 20 cords fuel wood for personal use by the owner. (RSA 79:1 II(b) 1&2)
2. 10 MBF saw logs and 20 cords of wood for land conversion purposes when all permits for the conversion have been received.(RSA 79:1 II (b)(5)
3. Shade and ornamental trees, usually considered to be trees within striking distance of a building. (RSA 79:2)
4. Christmas trees, fruit trees, and nursery stock and short rotation tree fiber. (RSA 79:2)
5. Any amount of firewood for maple syrup production. (RSA 79:1 II(b) 2)
6. Government and utilities not selling the wood.(RSA 79:1 II(b) 3 & 4)
(Items 1-6, No Intent required and Timber not taxable)
The Notice of Intent to Cut must be completed with a volume estimate, signed by the assessing officials and posted on the job site before any cutting requiring a notice can start. The original volume estimate cannot be exceeded without filing a supplemental Notice of Intent to cut for additional volumes. Notice of Intent to Cut forms are available from the NH DRA or under forms and information on the assessing dept. page (RSA 79:10).
Town officials have 15 days to sign the Intent to cut form (RSA 79:10 1(b). Public notice shall be posted for any intent to cut received by a municipality before it is signed by assessing officials. The assessing officials may withhold signing only for the following reasons:
1. The form has been improperly filled out (RSA 79:10).
2. Land is enrolled in the unproductive current use category that does not allow timber harvesting. (RSA 79-A:2, XIII, Current Use Administrative Rule Cub 305.02 (b);
3. A timber tax bond is required but has not been posted (RSA 79:3-a & 10-a).
4. All owners of record have not signed the intent to cut (RSA 79:1,11 & 79:10 1 (a)). All owners of record are listed on the property record card.
If town officials have not acted on the Intent to Cut within 15 days of receipt the landowner shall contact DRA, which then inquires with the town as to the status of the paperwork. If municipal officials are withholding signing, the landowner will be notified in writing by the town as to the reasons (RSA 79:10 1(b)).
Upon receipt of an intent, the commissioner of revenue administration shall furnish, without cost to the owner, a certificate and a report of wood cut form. Such certificate shall be posted by the owner filing such intent in a conspicuous place within the area of cutting for each operation conducted within a city, town, or unincorporated place. An owner may start an operation upon posting the certificate or upon posting, in a water proof covering in the same place and manner that the certificate will be posted upon receipt, a copy of the intent to cut form that was signed by the assessing officials. In lieu of a signed intent to cut form, a copy of the form as submitted by the owner to the assessing officials may be substituted for posting purposes when the owner, or the person responsible for the cut, has been notified that the intent to cut form has been signed. The owner, or the person responsible for the cut, shall clearly print on the form the number assigned to it pursuant to subparagraph (b), and the date, time, and name of the municipal official or employee who provided the notification (RSA 79:10 1(d)).
Starting or continuing an operation while the required certificate or intent to cut form is not posted in accordance with this section shall constitute a violation by the owner or any other person doing the cutting, or both (RSA 79:10 1(e)).
Starting an operation before the original notice of intent to cut or supplemental intent to cut has been filed with the city or town and signed by the appropriate municipal officials shall constitute a violation by the owner or any other person doing the cutting, or both (RSA 79:10 1(f)).
Tax Responsibility: (RSA 79:1 II(a))
The responsibility for the timber tax depends on the type of ownership and must be one of the following:
1. Landowners with timber rights on their own land (Joint Tenants).
2. Landowner with timber rights on their own land (Tenants in common).
3. Persons with deeded timber rights on land they previously owned.
4. Persons purchasing timber on public lands Federal, state, county, town, etc.
Timber Tax Bond: (RSA 79:10-a)
Owners that own land within the town the cutting is to take place and are current on property taxes and timber taxes cannot be required to post a timber tax bond. All other owners must post a timber tax bond before the Notice of Intent to Cut is signed. Timber tax bonds are usually equal to the expected timber tax.
Extensions: (RSA 79:10 II) (RSA 79:11 II)
Extensions are allowed upon written request by the owner to the assessing officials prior to April 1. Extensions allow cutting to continue through June 30 and reports are due August 15.
Report of Wood Cut: (RSA 79:11)
Report of Wood Cut forms are sent to the owners filing a notice along with a certificate, which should be posted at the job site. Reports of wood cut must be filed with the town within 60 days of completion or by May 15, whichever comes first. The report form serves as the basis for determining the timber yield tax.
Appeal Process: (RSA 79:8)
If a taxpayer believes they have been overtaxed they must appeal to the Town within 90 days of the tax bill. If the Town denies the appeal then the taxpayer may appeal in writing to the Board of Tax and Land Appeals (BTLA) within 6 months of the tax bill for an appeal board hearing. The Guideline to Assessing Timber is available from DRA to assist owners and towns in proper assessment of timber per NH timber tax law.
Penalties, Doomage and Enforcement: (RSA 79:12) (RSA 21:J 39) (RSA 79:28 & 28-a)
Fines for non-compliance range up to $2,000. A Doomage penalty may be assessed for improper reporting (Doomage is two times what the tax would have been if the Report had been seasonably filed and truly reported.) The DRA and Division of Forest & Lands have authority to issue a cease and desist for any cutting operation not in compliance with RSA 79.
This is only a synopsis of the law, for further clarification refer to the New Hampshire statutes or call the Department of Revenue Administration, Municipal and Property Division at 603-230-5900.