Tax Exempt Properties
There are some properties which are exempt from taxation. These exemptions are controlled by the State code. Examples of these types of property are properties owned by federal, state and local governments. Properties used for religious, charitable, cultural or historical use may also qualify for tax exempt status. Application forms are available from the Assessor’s office to file for tax exemption for those entities that may qualify.
Although, these properties are exempt, the Assessor’s Office does maintain property records and appraisals on them.
The City offers a real estate tax relief program which is comprised of two different components. These components are designed to either reduce or freeze the real estate tax liability for certain senior and/or disabled homeowners. These are the: 1) Tax Relief Program for the Elderly and Disabled and the other is: 2) the Tax Freeze program.
Relief from Real Estate Taxes is offered through Tax Exemption by Classification:
- Tax Relief for the Elderly and Disabled (757) 405-1800 Ext 8302, 8333, or 8447
- Disabled Veterans or Surviving Spouse (757) 393-8799
- Tax Exemption by Designation, Land Use and Rehabilitated Real Estate and Rehabilitated Real Estate in Urban Enterprise Zones. To see if you qualify for these programs, contact the City Assessor’s Office at (757) 393-8631.
The Tax Relief program is designed to reduce the amount of tax to be paid if 65 years of age and/or disabled, and if certain income and assets requirements are met.
The Tax Freeze program requires the property owner to be at least 65 years of age and also has certain income/asset criteria which must be met. Once approved for the Tax Freeze program, the owner’s taxes are frozen at the prior year’s amount, regardless of a general increase in assessment or tax rate for the next taxable year. Should the homeowner change by the addition or deletion any of their property characteristics, the assessment would be recalculated and taxes would be based on the new assessment.
Both program components require the applicant to reside in the subject property. Applications must be filed annually for this program as eligibility is established from July 1 to June 30 of each year. Persons can only be found eligible for one of the two tax relief programs. Both of these programs are administered through the Portsmouth Department of Social Services. The Assessor’s Office does not handle these programs.
Applications for these programs are available from the Department of Social Services, the offices of the Commissioner of Revenue, the City Treasurer offices at City Hall, as well as all public library branches or by clicking here for the downloadable versions. Applications for the tax relief program are taken weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. from January 1 through April 30 of each year.
Any questions regarding the filing of these applications and the qualifications necessary, may be answered by the Department of Social Services: 405-1800.
The City of Portsmouth offers partial tax exemption for substantially rehabilitated commercial and residential real estate. See the Forms section for qualifying guidelines.