TITLE V
TAXATION

CHAPTER 72
PERSONS AND PROPERTY LIABLE TO TAXATION

Property Taxes

Section 72:38-b

    72:38-b Exemption for Deaf or Severely Hearing Impaired Persons; Procedure for Adoption. –
I. Any deaf person or person with severe hearing impairment shall be exempt each year on the assessed value, for property tax purposes, of his or her residential real estate to the value of $15,000, and a city or town may exempt any amount it may determine is appropriate to address significant increases in property values in accordance with the procedures in this section. For residential real estate owned by the spouse of an eligible person, the exemption shall be allowed if they have been married for at least 5 years. The term " residential real estate " as used in this section shall mean the same as defined in RSA 72:29. All applications made under this section shall be subject to the provisions of RSA 72:33 and RSA 72:34.
II. The exemption in paragraph I applies only to property which is occupied as the principal place of abode by the eligible deaf person or person with severe hearing impairment. For purposes of this section, " deaf person or person with severe hearing impairment " means a person who has a 71 Db hearing average hearing loss or greater in the better ear as determined by a licensed audiologist or qualified otolaryngologist, who may rely on a visual means of communication, such as American Sign Language or speech recognition, and whose hearing is so impaired as to substantially limit the person from processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, so as to require the use of an interpreter or auxiliary aid. The exemption may be applied to any land or buildings appurtenant to the residence or to manufactured housing if that is the principal place of abode.
III. No exemption shall be allowed under paragraph I unless the person applying therefor:
(a) Has resided in this state for at least 5 consecutive years preceding April 1 in the year in which the exemption is claimed.
(b) Had in the calendar year preceding said April 1 a net income from all sources, or if married, a combined net income from all sources, of not more than the respective amount determined by the city or town for purposes of paragraph I. Under no circumstances shall the amount determined by the city or town be less than $13,400 for a single person or $20,400 for married persons. The net income shall be determined by deducting from all moneys received, from any source including social security or pension payments, the amount of any of the following or the sum thereof:
(1) Life insurance paid on the death of an insured.
(2) Expenses and costs incurred in the course of conducting a business enterprise.
(3) Proceeds from the sale of assets.
(c) Owns net assets not in excess of the amount determined by the city or town for purposes of paragraph I, excluding the value of the person's actual residence and the land upon which it is located up to the greater of 2 acres or the minimum single family residential lot size specified in the local zoning ordinance. The amount determined by the city or town shall not be less than $35,000 or, if married, combined net assets in such greater amount as may be determined by the town or city. " Net assets " means the value of all assets, tangible and intangible, minus the value of any good faith encumbrances. " Residence " means the housing unit, and related structures such as an unattached garage or woodshed, which is the person's principal home, and which the person in good faith regards as home to the exclusion of any other places where the person may temporarily live. " Residence " shall exclude attached dwelling units and unattached structures used or intended for commercial or other nonresidential purposes.
IV. Additional requirements for an exemption under paragraph I shall be that the property is:
(a) Owned by the resident;
(b) Owned by a resident jointly or in common with the resident's spouse, either of whom meets the requirements for the exemption claimed;
(c) Owned by a resident jointly or in common with a person not the resident's spouse, if the resident meets the applicable requirements for the exemption claimed;
(d) Owned by a resident, or the resident's spouse, either of whom meets the requirements for the exemption claimed, and when they have been married to each other for at least 5 consecutive years.
V. In addition to the exemption provided in this section, a person may claim an exemption for improvements to assist persons who are deaf or severely hearing impaired as follows:
(a) Every owner of residential real estate upon which he or she resides, and to which he or she has made improvements for the purpose of assisting a person who is deaf or severely hearing impaired who also resides on such real estate, is each year entitled to an exemption from the assessed value, for property tax purposes, upon such residential real estate determined by deducting the value of such improvements from the assessed value of the residential real estate before determining the taxes upon such real estate.
(b) The exemption under this paragraph shall apply only in taxable years during which the person who is deaf or severely hearing impaired resided on the residential real estate for which the exemption is claimed on April 1 in any given year.
VI. Any town or city may adopt, modify, or rescind the provisions of this section in the manner provided in RSA 72:27-a.
VII. The vote shall specify the provisions of the exemptions provided in RSA 72:38-b. The exemption shall take effect in the tax year beginning April 1 following its adoption.
VIII. A municipality may rescind the exemptions provided by this section in the manner described in paragraph VI.

Source. 2003, 131:3, eff. April 1, 2003; 299:24, eff. April 1, 2003 at 12:01 a.m.