• Purpose
  • Credits & Exemptions
  • Tax Rate FAQ

The Assessing Department is responsible for:

  • Taxable properties
  • Revaluations
  • Appeals
  • Exemptions
  • Deferrals
  • Abatements
  • Credits
  • Maintaining tax cards
  • Maintaining Records of Property Transfers
  • Preparation of tax maps

The Assessing functions are performed by the Assessing Clerk, the professional Assessors and the Board of Selectmen.

In addition, the Clerk for Assessing processes timber intent to cut and excavation permits, calculates timber tax and excavation tax; and prepares invoices.


The values of property must be up-dated every five years and must reflect market value (as opposed to actual cost or perceived value). Market value is always based on actual comparable sales of similar properties in Canaan or near Canaan.

Sample Tax Card

Sample Tax Map

There are programs created by law to provide property tax credits, exemptions (reduction of the value of taxable property) and deferral of taxes owed. The forms used for these programs can be found at NH Department of Revenue Administration

Form PA 29 is used for credits and exemptions and form PA 30 is used for deferrals.

When applying for property tax credits and exemptions, you will need to understand the limitations that apply for each of these programs and these limits will be filled in by the Town.

The limits as approved by the Town voters are shown here:
Click for PDF Version


PDF Version of the Credit Limitations

Why did the tax rate increase in 2014?


The total tax bill for 2014 increased 11% over last year. The School tax rate portion increased 18.4% over last year. Our share of the School budget went up $821,000 or about $528 on a $200,000 home.

percentage of increasesWhy did the school portion go up so much for Canaan?


  1. A quarter, $200.000, of the increase was voter approved.
  2. A quarter, $200,000, resulted from spending last year's surplus.
  3. Half of the increase, $419,000, is due to increased Canaan students.

None of the increase above is related to the bond vote. The budget was set before the bond was approved.

1% of the increase is due to elderly and handicapped exemptions in Canaan. The Town offset all of this increase.

 2014 increases

WHY IS MY SECOND BILL SO MUCH HIGHER THAN MY FIRST BILL?


The first tax bill is an estimate based on last year's budget and tax base. The actual rate is not set until November of every year. The Town doesn't receive the amount to be raised by taxes for the County, State and the school until November. Your first bill is usually lower because of that timing. The second bill has to catch up on all of the increases in six months and is therefore twice the increase as the annual tax increase.

The true cost of your taxes for the year is the combined total of the first bill and the second bill. Your first bill for the coming year should be roughly half of the combined total for all of 2014.