ROBERT CARR & a.
TOWN OF NEW LONDON
Argued: February 23, 2017
Hodes, Professional Association, of Manchester (Jay L. Hodes
and Katherine E. Hedges on the brief, and Mr. Hodes orally),
for the petitioners.
& Hatfield, LLP, of Concord (Barton L. Mayer and Michael
P. Courtney on the brief, and Mr. Mayer orally), for the
respondent, the Town of New London (Town), appeals an order
of the Superior Court (McNamara, J.) granting
summary judgment to the petitioners, Robert Carr (Carr) and
Raoul & Karen, LLC (Raoul & Karen), in their appeal
of the Town's denial of their request for a property tax
abatement pursuant to RSA 76:16 (Supp. 2016). We affirm.
pertinent facts are as follows. During the 2014 tax year,
Carr owned property located at 29 Boulder Point Road in New
London from April 1, 2014, to December 20, 2014, at which time he
sold the property to Raoul & Karen.The house on the
property was struck by lightning and burned to the ground on
July 1, 2014, leaving only a few outbuildings on the
property. As a result of the house's destruction, the
petitioners could not use it for 272 of the 365 days of the
2014 tax year. The Town assessed the house at $688, 000 for
that tax year.
year prior to the house's destruction, a statute came
into effect that provided for prorated tax assessments for
buildings damaged under certain conditions. See RSA
76:21 (Supp. 2016). RSA 76:21 provides, in relevant part:
I. Whenever a taxable building is damaged due to unintended
fire or natural disaster to the extent that it renders the
building not able to be used . . . the assessing officials
shall prorate the assessment for the building for the current
. . . .
III. A person aggrieved of a property tax for a building
damaged as provided in paragraph I shall file an application
with the assessing officials in writing within 60 days of the
event described in paragraph I.
. . . .
VI. Nothing in this section shall limit the ability of the
assessing officials to abate taxes for good cause shown
pursuant to RSA 76:16.
petitioners did not apply for a proration of their property
tax assessment under RSA 76:21. Rather, they petitioned the
Town for property tax abatement under RSA 76:16 in January
2015, about six months after the home's destruction. RSA
76:16 states that "[s]electmen or assessors, for good
cause shown, may abate ...