Co-op Members Bear the Burden of Huge Local Property Tax Increases
Over a six-year period, the Co-op has experienced a nearly 70% increase in the municipal property taxes we pay because a number of towns where we do business increased their assessments of the value of our property by enormous amounts. As a result of these increases, property taxes now account for 11% of the Co-op’s distribution costs. These property tax costs must be passed through to you the members.
For example, one town tripled the assessed value of the Co-op’s property in a single year. In another town, we added $2 million of property in 2015, yet our assessment went up by $8 million. In yet another town, our property valuation was doubled in 2014 and was increased by another 25% in 2015.
Because the tax bills from all towns where we do business are lumped together in our rates, all Co-op members pay a share of the taxes for all towns, including those that impose huge, unreasonable increases in how they value our property. This makes power more expensive for everyone. We don’t believe that’s fair, and we don’t believe it’s good energy or tax policy. A utility pole in one town should not be assessed at two or three times the value of an identical pole in the next town over, but that’s exactly what’s happening.
The Co-op is part of a statewide coalition working to make changes through the legislature that would bring fairness and consistency to the utility property assessing process.
We support House Bill 1381 (HB 1381) which would stop municipalities from overtaxing utility property. HB 1381 is coming up on a critical House vote in March; if you believe that cities and towns should be required to fairly and consistently assess similar utility property, sign up to voice your support here.
Huge increases in some towns’ property taxes are impacting your bill. See how many towns are unjustly assessing NHEC real estate!
Why is HB 1381 important?
Currently, municipalities use different methods to assess the value of utility property in their towns. As a result, the tax assessments placed on similar property can differ greatly from one town to another. For example, a transformer assessed at $100 in one town could be assessed at $300 in the next town over.
Because utility rates include a share of the taxes from all towns where we do business, all Co-op members end up paying when some towns over assess the value of our property, even if they don’t live in those towns.
HB 1381, which would enact a uniform assessing standard that would reasonably cap each property’s assessed value, is coming up on a critical House vote in March. Sign Up to voice your support.
This bill will help prevent communities from using creative, aggressive assessing tactics to bring in additional tax revenue at the expense of all members, most of whom live in other communities. The current process encourages some municipalities to drive up utility property valuations because they know the ultimate burden will be shared by residents in other towns, through higher electric rates. That ends up increasing electric costs for everyone, which is bad energy policy as well as bad tax policy
What can you do?
Sign up to let us know you support fair and equitable tax assessing reform. We will keep you up to speed on the latest developments.
UTILITY PROPERTY TAX REFORM IN THE NEWS