Controversy as New Hampshire Itemizes Taxes Based on Views of the White Mountains

Brietbart reports that controversy is raging in New Hampshire after assessors have dramatically increased property taxes based on a “view tax” for views of the White Mountains.

Guy Petell, director of property appraisals for the state, is sympathetic. But real estate ads and sales prove that properties with views fetch a premium, and it would be unfair to homeowners without views to ignore that, Petell said. He notes that the views were always included before in assessments but now they are a separate line.

The state has no general income or sales tax, and the resulting high property taxes are hardest on those who are land- rich but income-poor.

In Nevada, state law requires assessors to consider views, and Washoe County assessor Bob McGowan said ballooning property values on Lake Tahoe have contributed to protests against his view-ranking system. The state helped ease the pain this year by capping annual property tax increases on primary residences at 3 percent, an approach adopted years ago by voter initiative in Massachusetts and California.

Retired engineer John Chandler objected when a revaluation doubled the value of his property in Hill because of its view of the White Mountains in the distance. Chandler noted that he does not own the view and cannot control it, and said it is increasingly obscured by air pollution.

Besides, he is legally blind.

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