• 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.

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 2015?

Percent of Tax Increase chart
Click to view PDF.

Overall, 2% of the total rate increase in the taxes for the town and the school is due to more elderly and handicapped exemptions in Canaan.

Another 2% of the rate increase for both the town and the school is due to a reduced assessed valuation for Fairpoint Communications.

The school rate increased overall by 13%. As mentioned, 4% of that increase is related to exemptions and Fairpoint. The rest is from the bond and increased spending.

Tax Rate Increase by Proportion
Click to view PDF.


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 2015.