Long Sands Property Owners Receive Tax Abatements

Ossipee — May 11, 2006 — Selectmen approved abatements for all the property owners on Long Sands Road at the weekly board meeting Monday night.

Earlier this year, members of the Long Sands Association had requested an across-the-board abatement on taxes for landowners along the road because properties were selling at far less than the appraised value. Although appraiser David Wiley supported the idea, recommending in February that the selectmen approve an abatement of $75,000 on the land value of each property, selectmen rejected that proposal and said owners would have to file individual abatement applications by March 1.

All but four of the 29 property owners along the road filed abatement requests and, after reviewing them, Wiley again recommended abatements on the value of the land. Selectmen accepted those recommendations, which included dropping the assessed value of the land on each property, including those who did not bother to file.

With the great majority of property owners there filing abatement requests, town tax assessing supervisor Mellisa Ferland said, the tax assessor had to go back and look at all of the properties again.

The abatements were for varying amounts based on the size of the lots. Wiley also looked at all the properties again, and found some mistakes in assessments on houses and outbuildings in the process. These assessments were also changed.

The combined abatements resulted in an overall reduction of $1,947,700 in property values, and refund of $23,995 on 2005 taxes.

Ferland said notification letters should go out to property owners by Friday. Anyone dissatisfied with the abatement has until Sept. 1 to file an appeal.

Jean Hansen, a member of the Long Sands Association, said she did not want to comment on the abatements until she had seen the minutes of the selectmen’s meeting and had a chance to see more precisely what the abatements were.

She did say that the issue had brought people who lived on the road together. “We’re quite united for the first time. I think we’re all together and I think this shows we’re all together. And we just want it to be fair,” she said.

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