Discretionary Preservation Easements





NH RSA 79-D authorizes towns and cities to grant property tax relief to barn owners who:

     (a) can demonstrate the public benefit of preserving their barns or other old farm buildings, and
     (b) agree to maintain their structures throughout a minimum 10-year preservation easement. 

RSA 79-D is intended to encourage barn owners to maintain and repair their buildings by granting them specific tax relief and assuring them that assessments will not be increased as a result of new repair and maintenance work.

Who may apply, when to apply, and how to apply:
On or before April 15th of the new tax year, any owner of an historic barn or other agricultural building may seek relief by applying to the Selectmen’s Office. The application includes a form provided by the N.H. Department of Revenue Administration (see below), a map showing the location of the structure(s) and a description of how the property meets the prescribed test of public benefit. Applicants should also include information outlining plans to maintain and/or improve the historic structure.

Upon acceptance of an application, the Selectmen have 60 days to act on the application. A public hearing is required, which may provide an opportunity for local historical societies or other advisory groups to express support for barn preservation efforts. If, upon the discretion of the Selectmen, the application is approved, a ten-year easement will be filed for the structure and the property owner will be granted tax relief within a range of a 25 to 75% reduction of the structure's full assessed value (note: this only impacts the assessed value of the historic structure). In addition, maintaining and repairing the building during the easement period will not result in an increase in its assessed value for property tax purposes.

Required Documentation:
Department of Revenue Form PA-36-A (Discretionary Preservation Easement Application)
A map showing the location of the structure
Supplemental information documenting public benefit (if space is needed in addition to the space provided on the application) & a description of future maintenance plans

The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance is a great source for more information, including their Historic Barn Tax Incentive (PDF). For further questions, please reach out to the Selectmen's Office at 603-284-7701 or adminassist@sandwichnh.org

© 2021 Sandwich, NH Physical: 8 Maple St, Center Sandwich, NH 03227
Mailing: PO Box 194, Center Sandwich, NH 03227
Phone:  603-284-7701

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