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Oct 27, 2015 5:48 PM

Portsmouth neighborhood split, some could see increase in taxes after assessment values skyrocket

PORTSMOUTH - Bigger tax bills are likely next year for residents in one Seacoast neighborhood after a dramatic increase in assessment values.

A recent revaluation by KRT Appraisal of Massachusetts divided a Port City neighborhood known as "Little Harbour" into 2 sections: 103A and 103B, based on median sales.

More than 100 homes recently received higher assessment values in the 103A section. According to City Assessor Rosann Maurice-Lentz, the average assessment went up by 25 percent.

But because tax rates may drop, Maurice-Lentz told NH1 News that some taxpayers should expect to pay less - while others could pay more.

Residents spoke out at a meeting on the issue held by the city on Monday night.

Richards Avenue resident Dan Marchibroda said while it may be tough for some to pay the increase, he thinks a majority of homes in the neighborhood have truly increased in value – and thus, will have to pay more.

“I’m seeing younger, more fluent people moving into the neighborhoods and they’re spending more for homes – and then they’re fixing them up," Marchibroda told NH1.

But increased home values won’t do much for homeowners if they don’t plan to sell anytime soon – leaving only the burden of likely paying higher taxes.

“They were judging that on the percentages of the houses that were sold, and the price they were sold for, and then what the market value is for what we could get for our house," said Ernie Johnson, who's home is in the 103A section.

Johnson said his monthly payments are expected to rise.

"It will be $166 more – when it’s added into the escrow with the mortgage, monthly," he said.

Marchibroda and Johnson joined dozens of other residents at Monday night's meeting, where many said they would have liked to hear more about the methods used by KRT to decide where to split up the neighborhood.

No KRT appraisers were present at the meeting. Calls to the company's Portsmouth representative were not returned as of Tuesday evening.

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