No person shall be entitled to the exemptions or tax credits unless the person has filed with the selectmen or assessors, by April 15 preceding the setting of the tax rate, a permanent application therefor, signed under penalty of perjury, on a form approved and provided by the commissioner of revenue administration, showing that the applicant is the true and lawful owner of the property on which the exemption or tax credit is claimed and that the applicant was duly qualified upon April 1 of the year in which the exemption or tax credit is first claimed, or, in the case of financial qualifications, that the applicant is duly qualified at the time of application.
The form shall include the following and such other information deemed necessary by the commissioner:
- Instructions on completing and filing the form, including an explanation of the grounds for requesting tax exemptions and credits pursuant to RSA 72.
- Sections for information concerning the applicant, the property for which the relief is sought, and other properties owned by the person applying.
- A section explaining the appeal procedure and stating the appeal deadline in the event the municipality denies the tax relief request in whole or in part.
- A place for the applicant's signature with a certification by the person applying that the application has a good faith basis and the facts in the application are true.
Exemption for the Elderly ($15,000 off assessed value)
- Applicant must be 65 years old as of April 1 of the tax year applying. (Married couples, the eldest should apply)
- Applicant must have resided in the state of New Hampshire for at least three years prior to year of application.
- Applicant must
- own real estate individually
- own jointly or in common with another or
- be married to an individual for at least five years who owns real estate within the community.
- Property must meet the definition of a residential real estate, per RSA 79:39-a (c), which includes the housing unit, which is the person’s principal home and related structures. It does not include attached dwelling units and unattached structures used or intended for commercial or other non-residential purposes.
- Property cannot have been transferred to the applicant, from a person under the age of 65, and related to the applicant by blood or marriage, within the past five years.
A worksheet (available from the town administrator) is to be completed and submitted along with completed Form PA29, Permanent Application for Property Tax Credit/Exemptions. All information supplied will be treated confidentially and any supporting documents will be returned upon approval or denial of the application. Please note the following Income and Asset Limits when considering submission of your application.
INCOME LIMITS Single [ $18,400 ] Married [ $26,400 ]
ASSET LIMIT Single [ $35,000 ] Married [ $35,000 ]
If you hold a life estate in the property or your property is owned by a trust, you must also submit a completed form PA33 (Statement of Qualification) and submit a copy of the deed showing the assigned ownership of the life estate or a copy of the Declaration of Trust, including a list of beneficiaries or a completed Certification of Trust per RSA 564-B: 10-1013.
Documents required for new applicants
- Proof of birth
- SSA – 1099 Statement (Social Security Benefit Statement)
- Previous years income tax form – if not filing a federal income tax form, the following forms will be required if applicable: Form 1099 R Distribution of pensions, annuities …, any W2 wage statements and 1099 interest statements.
- Bank statements and verification of assets listed.
RSA 72:33, VI allows selectmen or assessing officials to require those receiving tax exemptions or credits to re-file their qualifying information periodically but no more frequently than annually. Failure to file such periodic statements may, at the discretion of the assessing officials, result in a loss of the exemption or tax credit for that year.
Exemption for the Disabled ($10,000 off assessed value)
Any person who at any time previously was eligible under Title II or Title XVI of the federal Social Security Act for benefits to the disabled, but who is no longer eligible for such federal benefits due to reasons other than the status of that person's disability, shall be eligible for the exemption, provided that the person submits an affidavit from a physician licensed in New Hampshire that attests to the fact that the person continues to meet the criteria for disability that are used under Title II or Title XVI of the federal Social Security Act.
The exemption of $10,000 may be applied only to the value of the property which is occupied as the principal place of abode by the disabled person. The exemption may be applied to any land or buildings appurtenant to the residence or to manufactured housing if that is the principal place of abode. Nothing in this section shall preclude a qualified applicant from earning an income.
Income and asset limits for this exemption are the same as those for the elderly exemption (above). Obtain a worksheet from the town administrator to work through the steps necessary to apply for this exemption.
Solar Energy System Exemption
Pursuant to RSA 72:62, at the 2020 Town Meeting, the Town of Wilmot adopted a property tax exemption for solar energy systems.
The language of the warrant article specifically states that the qualifying solar energy system must be intended for use at the immediate site and not as a commercial, for-profit installation. In addition, the property tax exemption shall be in the amount equal to 100% of the assessed valuation or total installed cost minus any rebate or incentives received by the system owner, whichever is less.
Definition of Solar Energy Systems. –
I. For purposes of an exemption under RSA 72:62 adopted before January 1, 2020, in this subdivision "solar energy system" means a system which utilizes solar energy to heat or cool the interior of a building or to heat water for use in a building and which includes one or more collectors and a storage container. "Solar energy system" also means a system which provides electricity for a building by the use of photovoltaic panels.
II. In a municipality that adopts or re-adopts the exemption under RSA 72:62 on or after January 1, 2020, "solar energy system" means, in addition to the definition in paragraph I, a system which utilizes solar energy to produce electricity for a building and includes all photovoltaics, inverters, and storage. Systems may be off grid or connected to the grid in a net metered or group net metered arrangement pursuant to RSA 362-A:9 or in a direct retail sale arrangement pursuant to RSA 362-A:2-a.
Should you wish to take advantage of the Solar Energy Systems Exemption, you must complete a PA-29 exemption application form (plus a PA-33, if your property is held by a trust). These forms must be submitted before April 15.
Standard and Optional Veterans' (Wartime Service)
Tax Credit ($500)
The Town of Wilmot has adopted the optional veterans' tax credit (which replaces the standard) to the amount of $500. RSA 72:28 states: the following persons shall qualify for the standard veterans' tax credit or the optional veterans' tax credit:
- Every resident of this state who served not less than 90 days on active service in the armed forces of the United States in any qualifying war or armed conflict listed in this section and was honorably discharged or an officer honorably separated from service; or the spouse or surviving spouse of such resident, provided that Title 10 training for active duty by a member of a national guard or reserve shall be included as service under this subparagraph;
- Every resident of this state who was terminated from the armed forces because of service-connected disability; or the surviving spouse of such resident; and
- The surviving spouse of any resident who suffered a service-connected death.
Service in a qualifying war or armed conflict shall be as follows:
- "World War II" between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946;
- "Korean Conflict" between June 25, 1950 and January 31, 1955;
- "Vietnam Conflict" between December 22, 1961 and May 7, 1975;
- "Vietnam Conflict" between July 1, 1958 and December 22, 1961, if the resident earned the Vietnam service medal or the armed forces expeditionary medal;
- "Persian Gulf War" between August 2, 1990 and the date thereafter prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law; and
- Any other war or armed conflict that has occurred since May 8, 1975, and in which the resident earned an armed forces expeditionary medal or theater of operations service medal.
All Veterans' Tax Credit ($500)
The credit granted under RSA 72:38-b shall be the same as the amount of the standard or optional veterans' tax credit in effect in the town or city under RSA 72:28. A town or city with an existing standard or optional veterans' tax credit under RSA 72:28 prior to August 18, 2016, adopting the credit under this section, may phase in the amount of the all veterans' tax credit over a 3-year period to match the standard or optional veterans' tax credit.
The all veterans' tax credit shall be subtracted each year from the property tax on the veteran's residential property.
A person shall qualify for the all veterans' tax credit if the person is a resident of this state who served not less than 90 days on active service in the armed forces of the United States and was honorably discharged or an officer honorably separated from service; or the spouse or surviving spouse of such resident, provided that Title 10 training for active duty by a member of a national guard or reserve shall be included as service under this paragraph; provided however that the person is not eligible for and is not receiving a credit under RSA 72:28 or RSA 72:35.
Totally Disabled Veterans' Tax Credit ($1,400)
The Town of Wilmot has adopted optional tax credit of $900 for service-connected total disability, which replaces the standard tax credit in its entirety. This is an addition to the $500 received for one of the above veterans' credits.
The tax credit for service-connected total disability shall be subtracted each year from the property tax on the person's residential property.
The tax credit under this section may be applied only to property which is occupied as the principal place of abode by the disabled person or the surviving spouse. The tax credit may be applied to any land or buildings appurtenant to the residence or to manufactured housing if that is the principal place of abode.
- Any person applying for the tax credit under this section shall furnish to the assessors or selectmen certification from the United States Department of Veterans' Affairs that the applicant is rated totally and permanently disabled from service connection. The assessors or selectmen shall accept such certification as conclusive on the question of disability unless they have specific contrary evidence and the applicant, or the applicant's representative, has had a reasonable opportunity to review and rebut that evidence. The applicant shall also be afforded a reasonable opportunity to submit additional evidence on the question of disability.
- Any decision to deny an application shall identify the evidence upon which the decision relied and shall be made within the time period provided by law.
- Any tax credit shall be divided evenly among the number of tax payments required annually by the town or city so that a portion of the tax credit shall apply to each tax payment to be made.
Certain Disabled Veterans
Any person, who is discharged from military service of the United States under conditions other than dishonorable, or an officer who is honorably separated from military service, who owns a specially adapted homestead which has been acquired with the assistance of the Veterans Administration or which has been acquired using proceeds from the sale of any previous homestead which was acquired with the assistance of the Veterans Administration, the person or person's surviving spouse, shall be exempt from all taxation on said homestead, provided that:
- The person or officer:
- Is 100 percent permanently and totally disabled as prescribed in 38 C.F.R. 3.340, total and permanent total ratings and unemployability; or
- Is a double amputee of the upper or lower extremities or any combination thereof, or paraplegic, as the result of service connection; or
- Has blindness of both eyes with visual acuity of 5/200 or less, as the result of service connection.
- Satisfactory proof of such service connection disability is furnished to the assessors.
Current Use is a state program that is designed to preserve open space by through a special assessment process that gives landowners a lower tax bill. To qualify for the program landowners must:
- not convert the bulk of their property into residential or commercial uses.
- own at least 10 acres.
If you own just one lot and wish to put a house or other structure on it, the house site and a prescribed area around it ("curtilage") will be removed from Current Use. The remaining portion of the parcel must be more than 10 acres.
If a person owns two or more contiguous smaller parcels, they may be put into Current Use if together they total more than 10 acres.
Once parcels are in current use, the landowners' property taxes are reduced by varying amounts, depending on the level of stewardship they undertake. For example, someone who hires a forester to develop a timber management plan gets a larger tax break than someone who lets the parcel remain unmanaged. In addition to timber production, current use is designed to encourage outdoor recreation, conservation, and agriculture.
If you have just purchased your property and have been told by the previous owners that it is "in Current Use," but they did not provide you with any further information, you may wish to:
- check your property description in the online assessment database available through the town website. The Assessment Data Review Online button on the main menu brings you to the Avitar Associates database for Wilmot. In the Valuation box it indicates whether or not the land is in Current Use. Under the Land tab you can see how your land is classified under the program. A single parcel may have several areas assigned to different categories.
- visit the town offices to look at the paperwork about Current Use in your property folder. If there is a management plan in place, then you will need to know who did it and when it expires. You may also want to adjust some of the features that have been applied to your property. For example, the current owner may not have allowed recreational access to the land, and you may wish to change that.
If your parcel is not in the Current Use program and it is larger than 10 acres, then you may file an application to join the program. This must be done before April 15 to the application to be processed for the current year. The forms and instructions are available from the NH Department of Revenue Administration.
Any owner of land who meets the qualifications set forth in RSA 79-A may apply.
Exceptions to the 10-acre minimum include:
- 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 (various kinds) and for unproductive/wetland.
No buildings, appurtenances, or other improvements are allowed on the portion of the tract for which current use is applied.
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 kept out of Current Use must accompany the application. The map must show the distribution of the Current Use categories 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 15 of the tax year.
Logging Your Land
Should you decide to log your land, it is necessary to file paperwork with the town, which will lead to paperwork with the state, specifically the Timber office of the Department of Revenue Administration. Timber is regarded as real estate in New Hampshire and you pay a yield tax when you cut it down and sell it.
- The Intent to Cut form (PA-7) is available from the NH DRA (requires up to date Adobe Reader) and also in the State Applications folder under Permits & Forms at the Town Documents page on this website.
- After we submit this to the state, they will send you a Report of Cut form, which must be filed before May 15 each year. The Report of Cut will be used to calculate your yield tax (10% of value). Value depends on species of tree cut. NH DRA provides updated values based on the market. Value varies according to the quality of the timber, the accessibility of the site, and the quantity of timber harvested per acre.
- Forest Stewardship Plan (CU-12) is available at the Town Documents page or from the NH DRA. This form can be submitted to the DRA in lieu of your entire management plan. It shows you have qualified for the lower tax rate associated with maintenance of managed woodlands.
Reports of Cut must be filed with the Town of Wilmot within 60 days of completion of the logging operation or May 15, whichever comes first.
Every bit of Wilmot, excepting perhaps the very steepest slopes, has been logged in the past, often more than once. According to the Wilmot Conservation Commission's Natural Resource Inventory (2006), 87.9% of Wilmot was forested in 1993. By 2006, this number had declined to 82.9%, mostly due to the expansion of subdivisions. However, 58.5% of the town's forested land is in unfragmented blocks of at least 500 acres. That is, the forest is uninterrupted by roads, dwellings, or other types of human use.
Also according to the Natural Resource Inventory, "[A] Colby-Sawyer study identified sixty-five parcels totaling 6,743 acres that were being managed for timber, looking at only lots larger than 50 acres. The study found that a relatively small number of the lands had a stewardship plan, either through Tree Farm certification or a management plan prepared by a licensed NH forester. According to Tree Farm data maintained by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, there are eight properties in Wilmot that are listed as tree farms with a total acreage of 1,348 acres. The largest parcel is listed as 304 acres and the next largest is 235 acres."
If you buy a forested parcel, your first impulse might not be to cut down the trees. But some reading and some talking to people about forestry and land stewardship in general might convince you otherwise. Here are some resources:
- Woods Whys by Michael Snyder. This is a collection of his columns, originally published in Northern Woodlands magazine. Each column is prompted by and titled with a reader's question about forestry, ecology, or stewardship.
- The Woodlot Management Handbook by Stewart Hilts and Peter Mitchell.
- The Landowner's Guide to Managing Your Woods by Anne Larkin Hanson.
- Wildlands, Woodlands, Farmlands and Communities by David Foster et al. (Harvard Forest)
- New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association. A non-profit that represents the forest-products industry at the state legislature.
- Society for the Protection of New Hampshire's Forests. A non-profit that engages in stewardship throughout the state, including Wilmot.
- Natural Resources programs at UNH Cooperative Extension. The Merrimack County contact is Tim Fleury.
- Directory of Licensed Foresters (maintained by UNH Cooperative Extension)
- New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands
The largest deposits of gravel in Wilmot are in the valleys of Cascade and Frazier brooks. Post-glacial damming of the Blackwater and Kearsarge valleys by moraines created temporary lakes and braided streams that allowed sediment that eroded off the surrounding uplands to be sorted in standing bodies of water and rivers. Consequently, there are extensive lenses of sand and gravel there that were once beaches and bars in now vanished water bodies. There are also sand and gravel deposits of post-glacial origin elsewhere in town, but they are less extensive than the ones along Cascade and Frazier brooks.
Permits to excavate must be submitted annually before March 31.