The county established the Utility Valuation Defense Fund as a response to what county officials said was a broad-based effort by utilities to challenge municipal assessments throughout New Hampshire. The situation is particularly acute in Coos County where the utilities appear to be “trying to pick off small towns one at a time,” through legal action that the towns are hard-pressed to respond to.
Articles filed under Property Values from New Hampshire
When county administrator Jennifer Fish was asked whether she had calculated the dollar amounts of property tax bills that would have to be sent out in Millsfield and Dixville under the DRA's equalized valuations, she replied that she had not done the math but believed they would be exponentially higher. A DRA witness pointed out that the press had widely reported that the capital investment in the Granite Reliable Wind Farm would be in the range of $250 to $275 million.
Woody Miller, a realtor at Coldwell Bank and Old Mill Properties in Bristol, said the Groton wind farm has likely already slowed the sale of one of his properties in neighboring Rumney. "I would argue that wind farms here will have a substantial effect on fair-market property values. If you eliminate even a few of the pool of potential buyers for a particular property, it hurts property sales and therefore values."
The town of Lempster’s education taxes increased by $317,722 the year after the wind farm went online – although other economic variables may also have played a part in the increase. That cost, in addition to the $186,137 the town paid in additional county taxes after the wind farm arrived, means that Lempster residents have not experienced the windfall they may have hoped for. Richards says that while the town’s tax rates decreased for one year after the wind farm opened at the end of 2008, they rose above pre-wind mill rates the following year