Suzanne Goulet: Town Administrator
- Jennifer Caron: Secretary to the Town Administrator
- Wendy McMann: Treasurer (2025)
- Gary Fournier – Town Assessor
Select Board Members
Monday: 9am – 3:30pm
Tuesday: 9am – 3:30pm
Wednesday: 9am – 3:30pm
Thursday: 9am – 3:30pm
Fuller Town Hall
PO Box 366
1956 US Route 3
Stratford, NH 03590
- Building Cert.
- Current Use Pgrm.
- Exemptions & Credit
- Tax Rate Summary
- Tax Deeded Prop.
- Tax Map/Card
- Dept. of Rev.
Stratford now requires a Building Certificate, which replaces the old PA-28 Inventory Form. Any new build, renovation, or demolition must submit a building certificate application prior to beginning work. Certificate application and a more detailed explanation is available here: BuildingCertificate.pdf
Current Use Program
Current use is a State of New Hampshire program that encourages the preservation of open space and conservation of agricultural and wildlife resources. Under the program, land is valued not as building lots, but as farm land, forest land, and unproductive land (land that cannot produce a farm or forest crop).
To be in current use, the land in question must be at least ten contiguous acres or provide $2,500 per year in agricultural or horticultural products. The exception to the ten-acre requirement is unimproved wetlands – such land can be any size.
When land is taken out of current use there is a onetime 10% Land Use Change Tax that is assessed based on the market value of the land in question at the time the use changes to non-qualifying. This may or may not be the selling price. The person or entity that owns the land at the time of use change is responsible for the payment of the lien release.
Land owners must apply on or before April 15th of the tax year that the land owner wishes to have his/her land classified as current use pursuant to RSA 79-A:5, II. Click here for an A-10 Application for Current Use.
Current use acreage requirements demand that it be of one of the following types: farm land, forest land, or unproductive land. Further details may be obtained through the State of New Hampshire Current Use Criteria Booklet. Click here for the criteria booklet.
Current Use Overview (RSA 79-A):
The current use program was enacted July 1, 1973 and was designed to “encourage the
preservation of open space, thus providing a healthful and attractive outdoor environment for [the] work and recreation of the State’s citizens…”. The program does this by assessing land according to its actual current use and not according to its potential highest market value – typically developed or developable land.
The land in question must be at least ten contiguous acres beyond any lands required for any structures and for access to them, or the land must provide $2500 per year in agricultural or horticultural products. The exception to the ten-acre requirement is unimproved wetlands – such land can be any size such as a pond.
You can subdivide and sell land without a penalty if the parcels are still ten acres or more or fit some other criteria such as unimproved wetlands. The lien remains with the land no matter who owns it. There are no “buy-out” provisions.
A map clearly delineating the areas to be current use, and of what type (farm, forest, etc) must accompany the application – it does not have to be a survey map.
The landowner can retract the application within the same tax year before it is recorded.
The municipality must notify the landowner by July 1, or 15 days after July 1 if the landowner was prevented by accident, mistake, or misfortune (“I forgot” does not count) from applying by April 15th.
No application will be accepted after the tax rate has been set in the municipality for that year. The lien must be recorded at the registry of deeds by August 1st.
Your land may be in current use but that does not open it up to the public; that is up to you. However, if you’d like to get a further 20% reduction on your current use land assessment you must allow certain recreational activities to take place. These activities are fishing, hiking, hunting, nature observation, skiing, and snowshoeing, unless any of those activities are detrimental to a crop.
You must allow all of these activities; you cannot post your land against hunting or even hunting with permission and still receive the additional 20% reduction. You can however post against off-road vehicles and camping and still receive the 20% reduction. If your land receives the additional 20% reduction and you take your land out of the recreation category, you cannot put your land back into recreation for 3 years.
Your ten acres can be within a single lot, or contiguous parcels that total at least ten acres and are under identical ownership. A road, river, railroad bed, body of water, or political boundary does not prevent parcels from being contiguous.
Land is not disqualified just because it is the waterfront or has substantial road frontage.
The land and maintained grounds that buildings (houses, sheds, sugarhouse, barns, garages, etc.) are on cannot be in current use. This also includes areas for driveways, septic, and utilities.
The amount of land for a house lot that will be excluded from current use is not governed by local zoning requirements. So, if you live in a 1.5 acres lot size zone you don’t necessarily have to keep 1.5 acres out of current use. Typically, however, we find about that much is needed including the driveway and land needed to service the house, the lawns, and the outbuildings. This is another reason a map is required by statute.
You can change from one land category to another, but you must notify the Town.
Taking Land Out of Current Use
When land is taken out of current use a one-time 10% land use change tax (LUCT) is assessed based on the market value of the land in question at the time the use changes to non-qualifying. This may or may not be the selling price. The person or entity that owns the land at the time of use change is responsible for the payment of the lien.
As stated above there is no buy-out provision; once your land is in current use it stays there forever and is passed to subsequent owners in the same condition. The land is removed from current use under the following conditions:
- The land use is physically changed, e.g., from farmland to a building lot in a subdivision. Only the land changed is assessed, the rest stays in current use if it continues to qualify.
- The lot size no longer conforms to the ten-acre minimum, e.g.:
If you had 14 acres and you sold 6, both the 6 acres (the new owner is responsible for the lien release fee) and your remaining 8 acres (you are responsible for the lien release fee) would come out of current use, or;
If you had 14 acres and you sold only 3 acres there would only be a lien release fee due on the 3 acres payable by the owner of the 3 acres – when the deed was recorded the fee became due as that is when the land use changed in this case.
- Topsoil, gravel, or other excavation is removed and sold – removal for the landowner’s use is allowed without the issuance of a lien release fee. Refer to RSA 79-A:7 IV(b) exceptions (1) and (2) for specific information.
Land Use Change Tax A-5 must be completed to remove land from current use. https://www.revenue.nh.gov/forms/2013/documents/a-5.pdf
Summary of Forest Stewardship Plan CU-12
A landowner who requests to have their forest land assessed as “Forest Land with Documented Stewardship”, who does not have a New Hampshire tree farm confirmation letter, documentation of equivalent tree farm certification, or a forest stewardship plan that meets the requirements contained in Cub 304.07 (a)(3) c., may complete and file Form CU-12 with the municipal assessing officials. The Form CU-12 is not a requirement for the “unmanaged” Forest Land assessment category.
Summary of Forest Stewardship Plan CU-12 https://www.revenue.nh.gov/forms/2014/documents/cu-12.pdf
Property Tax Exemptions Available to Stratford Taxpayers
ALL VETERAN’S TAX CREDIT – RSA – 72:28-b
- A person shall qualify for the Optional Veteran’s Tax Credit if the person is a resident of this state who served not less than 90 days on active service in the armed forces of the United States, and
- Was honorably discharged or an officer honorably separated from service; or the spouse or surviving spouse of such resident, provided that Title 10 training for active duty by a member of a national guard or reserve shall be included as service under this paragraph;
- Provided however that the person is not eligible for and is not receiving a credit under RSA 72:28 or RSA 72:35.
- The applicant must provide a copy of their DD214 (discharge document) or other sufficient proof when applying for this credit.
- The credit is in the amount of $500 and is applied to the amount of taxes owed. (Passed by voters in March 2017)
- A husband and wife, each qualifying for a tax credit, shall each be granted a tax credit upon the residential real estate as provided under RSA 72:28, I or II.
- IMPORTANT:Filing deadline is April 15th.
- Application forms are available from the Assessing Department.
- On-line law reference for RSA 72:28-b : https://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/V/72/72-28-b.htm (link is external)
- DISABLED VETERAN TAX CREDIT – RSA 72:35
- The applicant must provide a copy of their DD214, (discharge document), or other sufficient proof when applying for this credit.
- A Disabled Veteran Tax Credit is in the amount of $700 and is deducted from the amount of taxes owed.
- Any person who has been honorably discharged or an officer honorably separated from the military service of the United States and who has total and permanent service-connected disability, or who is a double amputee or paraplegic because of service-connected injury, or the surviving spouse of such a person, shall receive a standard yearly tax credit in the amount of $700 of property taxes on the person`s residential property. The qualification for this credit includes the applicant providing written documented proof that the veteran has been determined, by the US Veteran`s Administration, to be totally and permanently disabled as a result of a service-connected injury.
- IMPORTANT:Filing deadline is April 15th.
- Application forms are available from the Assessing Department.
- On-line law reference for RSA 72:35 : http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/V/72/72-35.htm(link is external)
ELDERLY EXEMPTION: RSA 72:39-a
Must be a resident of NH for at least three years prior to April 1st of year exemption is applied. Must be 65 years of age on or before April 1st of year for which exemption is claimed. Own real estate individually or jointly (if real estate owned by spouse, must have been married at least 5 years).
- Net income of $25,000 or if married – $35,000.
- Asset limitation of $70,000 excluding the value of residence.
- Amount of exemption:
- 65-74 years of age: $15,000
- 75-80 years of age: $25,000
- 80 years or older: $40,000
Filing deadline is April 15th.The applicable amount is deducted from the assessed value of property before tax is figured. Elderly Exemption Evaluation Form Elderly exemption evaluation form.pdf
BLIND EXEMPTION: RSA 72:37
Must be legally blind as determined by The Blind Services Department of the Vocational Rehabilitation Division of the Education Department. Amount of exemption is $15,000* deducted from his/her property value.
Filing deadline is April 15th.
For information and applications concerning the following categories, please contact the Office of the Selectmen, PO Box 366, 1956 US Rte 3, Stratford, NH, at 603-922-5535.
|Tax Rate Breakdown for Stratford 2023
(per $1000 assessed value)
Properties taken 2023: none
Properties taken 2022: Map 232 lot 010
Properties taken 2021: none
Properties taken 2020: Map 213 lot 054 MH16
You can view, download and print your Property Tax Map and/or Tax Card through our Town Mapping application.
For more information and resources on taxing and assessing, please visit the NH Department of Revenue