Tax Relief Program

Eligibility Requirements

For Further Information: Call 405-1800 or Visit:

The Portsmouth Department of Social Services administers the tax relief program for the City of Portsmouth. The two components of this program are designed to either reduce or freeze the Real Estate Tax liability for qualified elderly and/or disabled homeowners.

To be eligible for the reduced taxes component of this program, a household must have no more than $30,000 gross annual income and financial reserves of no more than $75,000 (Excluding the value of residence). Annual income is for the previous year and reserves/assets are as of the last day of the previous year. Based on the total household income, a percentage of abatement from 10% to 100% is assigned to the total taxes due and the tax bill is reduced by that amount. The new or lesser amount is reflected in the first quarter tax bill of the tax year, which is mailed out at the end of August.

To be eligible for the freeze, the household's income would be in excess of $30,001 but less than $50,000 and/or the financial worth between $75,001 and $175,000 (excluding the value of the residence). While still responsible for the payment of Real Estate Taxes, the amount of the taxes will be frozen at the prior year's amount regardless of any increase in assessment or tax rate.

Other Eligibility Criteria are:

  • The person making the application must own or partially own the title to the property for which the exemption is claimed. If the applicant is a co-owner, the exemption will be prorated.
  • The person making the application must be permanently and totally disabled or must be sixty-five(65) years old or older as of June 30th of the immediately preceding taxable year.
  • The person making the application must be living in the home.
  • The person making application shall not have disposed of assets to future heirs within the preceding five(5) years if such assets would have made the applicant ineligible.

Applications for the tax relief program are taken weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5pm from January 2nd through April 30th of each year at the Portsmouth Department Social Services:

1701 High Street


Forms are also available at the City Treasurers offices at 801 Crawford Street, as well as the Public Library branches. While these forms may be completed at home, the application must be notarized before being submitted. Notary Services are provided at no cost by Social Services as well as assistance in completing the application forms if necessary. Forms for reapplication are automatically mailed in early January to those individuals who were found eligible for program benefits in the previous year. For further information, please call 757-405-1800.