EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

July 31, 2013

N.H. property tax collections remain steady

Clerks report fewer liens, delinquencies

It’s tax time again, and local tax collectors are pleased that payments are right on target.

That means approximately 95 percent of Southern New Hampshire residents and business owners paid their property taxes by the July 1 deadline, tax collectors said. Towns also collect property taxes Dec. 1.

Although that’s in line with last year, tax collectors are glad the payments are rolling in.

Some said fewer liens being filed against delinquent taxpayers is a good indication the economy is improving.

“The past few years, the liens have started to go down,” Sandown Town Clerk/Tax Collector Michelle Short said. “It seems to have evened out. A couple of years ago, there were more people without jobs.”

Sandown has collected $5.9 million of the $6.3 million owed, or 95.6 percent, Short said. That’s slightly down from last year when $5.9 million of $6.2 million was collected, or 96.5 percent, she said.

Residents in Sandown and other towns are taking advantage of the chance to pay their property taxes online.

“I think it’s more of an option for people,” Short said. “We do see more people paying online.”

Plaistow Tax Collector Rosemarie Bayek said the latest figures haven’t been tallied, but tax collections in town usually average about 93 percent.

“We have been consistent for the last three years,” she said.

But some residents are still struggling to pay their property taxes, she said.

“There are people who are having a tough time,” Bayek said. “They do come in and pay what they can.”

For those who can’t pay in full, Newton Town Clerk/Tax Collector Mary McCullough tells them that paying something is better than nothing.

She some residents believe they have to pay the full amount all at once. If they miss the deadline, they have to pay 12 percent in interest.

“I tell them, ‘You don’t have to wait until you have it all. Pay what you can, it helps you save on interest,”’ she said.

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