The assessors are required to ensure the accuracy of the assessment data. The Board must obtain state certification every 3 years verifying that the property valuations meet the state criteria for fair market value. The proposed assessments are provided to the DOR for statistical testing and confirmation. The DOR checks the assessed values for accuracy - both sold and unsold properties - by comparing them to actual property sales.
Overall, regardless of the method used, the statistically derived estimates must fall within a 10% range of actual selling prices (properties are grouped by various categories, such as neighborhood or building style) in order to satisfy state guidelines. Once approved by the DOR, the new assessments are mailed to the taxpayers.The Assessors are also required to do Interim year adjustments in the years between recertification, to make sure values stay within 10% of market value.
How a Property Tax Bill is Calculated
Each annual property tax bill is calculated by multiplying the assessed value of the property by the current tax rate. The tax rate is expressed in dollars per 1,000 of value. The tax rate in Manchester is the same for both residential and commercial properties. Property taxes are due in four quarterly installments. The first and second tax bills of a fiscal year state the estimated tax, whereas the third bill is the actual tax bill. It is usually mailed to taxpayers in December. The 3rd and 4th tax bills show the current assessment and the residential tax rate.
The tax rate is determined by the size of the town budget for the fiscal year (July 1 through June 30). The budget is decided each year at the Annual Town Meeting. Taxpayers are encouraged to attend Town Meeting and to vote on budget items, thereby setting budgets and, indirectly, the tax rate. If you have any questions, please call the Assessors' Office.