DOVER – Property owners in the city should be receiving this week – if they haven’t already – notices of changes to their assessed valuations.
The notices were sent out as part of the city’s “annual statistical update” for the 2020 tax year (fiscal year 2021), City Manager Michael Joyal said Monday.
“The city’s total assessed value has grown by 5.4 percent, a nearly $200 million overall increase, to $3.901 billion,” from the previous fiscal year,” Joyal said in a memo to the City Council. “This increase in assessed value has resulted from both the addition of new construction and continuing property appreciation driven by real estate market activity.”
New construction in Dover “accounted for nearly ¼ of the growth in overall assessed value or $46 million,” Joyal said.
But ¾ of the growth in value or $154 million resulted from “appreciation in property values as derived from actual recorded sales of property throughout the community,” Joyal said.
The update to property values shows that the average property assessment of a single-family home in Dover is now $351,205, up 4.27 percent from last year’s $336,883 average assessment, according to the city.
A two-family home’s average assessment is $337,293, up 7.23 percent over 2019’s $314,547 average assessment.
The average assessment for a three-family home also increased by 7.98 percent to an average assessed value of $367,831, according to city officials.
Joyal noted that the increase in property values does not necessarily mean there will be an increase in property tax bills.
“The tax rate doesn’t get set by the state until after the citywide assessed value is determined,” Joyal said.
The state Department of Revenue Administration is expected to set Dover’s tax rate in the coming weeks.
The city’s increasing property values “speaks on the one hand to the recognition of the desire folks have to live in this area, and particular in the Dover community,” Joyal said.
“On the other hand it’s concerning because it’s continuing to show that as home prices appreciate in value it makes it more and more difficult for people to buy here,” Joyal said. “It is very concerning across the entire region because ultimately we do need to make sure there’s all types of housing available for people.”
Once the state does set the tax rate, the semi-annual tax bills will be mailed out, he said.
The tax payments are due 30 days after people receive the bills, he said.
In terms of the new property valuations, Joyal encouraged residents to go online “first and foremost once people receive their valuation notices and look at their property cards to see if there’s any inaccuracies.”
Property information can also be accessed through the City’s website at https://go.usa.gov/xPVjr.
If property owners have concerns about their updated valuations, they can “contact The Tax Assessing Office and discuss their concerns,” Joyal said.
The office can be reached at (603) 516-6014.
There is also a formal appeals process for property owners to seek an abatement, Joyal said.
Residential values make up the bulk of the city’s total valuation at 73.8 percent, Joyal said. Commercial and industrial are 23.9 percent of the overall valuation.