The Tax-Shift Impact of Targeted Property Tax Relief in New Hampshire (06-30-2008)
Across the country, state and local governments use tax policy to further a variety of other policy purposes. New Hampshire is no different, using tax exemptions and credits to encourage business development, support policy goals regarding the use of certain energy sources, or to assist state-identified vulnerable or otherwise meritorious populations. Unlike many states, where state funds are used to offset these programs, in New Hampshire the cost of these programs is born by towns and municipalities. Therefore, providing property tax relief to vulnerable populations raises the property tax burdens for others, a phenomenon the Center labeled “cost-shifting” in its 2004 analysis of property tax exemptions for the elderly.
This paper further explores the State’s property tax relief programs for vulnerable populations – the elderly, the disabled, and homeowners of modest incomes. It provides context for understanding the scope and implications of these programs and a resource to local communities.