TOWN CLERK/TAX COLLECTOR
The Town Clerk has been responsible for maintaining town records since Rye was incorporated in 1729. Those 280+ year-old records still exist in the vault at Town Hall under the stewardship of the Town Clerk/Tax Collector, Elizabeth “Beth” Yeaton. In addition to learning something about Rye’s history, you can go to the Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s office to:
- Register a motor vehicle or renew your vehicle registration. Registrations are renewable in your birth month each year, unless the vehicle is leased or is in a trust or company name. The Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s office mails out vehicle registration renewal reminders. All transfers require the original of your most recent registration.
- Obtain a marriage license. Both the bride and groom need to be present when applying for a marriage license. They should each bring proof of identification (driver’s license or passport), and, if either party has been previously married, divorce decree(s) or death certificate(s) to show proof of how the prior marriage(s) ended. The licensing process takes approximately thirty minutes. You must arrive before 4 p.m. to complete the licensing process.
- Obtain copies of vital records (birth, marriage, divorce and death certificates). Depending on the year of occurrence, an individual requesting copies of vital records will need to show proof of identification and advise how they are related to the individual on the record.
- License your dog – All dogs must be licensed by April 30 each year. You must have a statement from your vet that your dog has a current rabies vaccination to have your dog licensed. If you have not registered your dog in Rye before, you will also need to show proof of spay/neuter, if applicable, in order to obtain the lowest rate.
- Obtain a New Hampshire State Wetlands/Dredge and Fill Permit Application, and file the application. Instructions on how to file the application and requirements are listed on the application form. (An applicant will likely also need to file for a Town Special Permit at the Planning Board office.)
- Register to vote: You will need to show proof of identification and proof of residency to become a registered voter. You can register to vote at the Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s office up to 10 days prior to any election. You can also register at the polls on Election Day and on other appointed days with the Supervisors of the Check List. Call the Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s office or go to that page on town website for voter registration information.
- Apply for/obtain an absentee ballot: You will need to be a registered voter in the Town of Rye, and provide proof of identification to obtain an absentee ballot. Each person must pick up and return his or her own absentee ballot in person unless transacted by mail.
The Town Clerk/Tax Collector also files tax liens and tax deeds, and handles all phases of federal, state and local elections, from registering new voters, issuing absentee ballots, taking official minutes, printing ballots, to recording and certifying the votes.
Rye collects property taxes from all property owners twice each year. The taxes are due July 1st and April 1st (or the next business day, if those dates fall on a weekend), or 30 days from the mailing of the tax notices. New Hampshire State law requires that the tax bills be mailed at least 30 days prior to their due date, and that no late-payment interest can be charged for a minimum of 30 days from the date the bills are mailed. Since the new tax rate is not determined until the fall each year, the First Issue tax bill is 1/2 of the previous year’s full tax. Each year’s new tax rate is based on the Town budget, contractual obligations, and new expenditures from Warrant Articles passed by the voters in March of that year. The Second Issue tax bill is based on the new tax rate, and states the full year’s taxes, minus the amount that was paid on the First Issue tax bill which was due in July. Taxes may be paid in person at the Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s Office, by mail, or on-line on the Town of Rye website. Instructions for payment and hours of operation are printed on the front of each tax bill.
If a property’s taxes, as well as any other Town bills such as sewer bills, have not been paid by December 1st following the assessment for the new fiscal year, then New Hampshire statutes requires that a lien be placed on that property. The Town Clerk/Tax Collector will send out delinquency notices in January and the Notices of Impending Lien in March. Thirty days after the Notice of Impending Tax Lien is sent out, a lien will be placed on the property and recorded with the Registry of Deeds, and stays with that deed until redeemed. The property owner has two years and one day to redeem the property by paying all of the taxes, penalties and interest. If they are still not paid at that time, the deed for that property must be transferred to the town. It is then up to the Board of Selectmen to decide what to do with the property. In the last decade only thirteen small parcels have been deeded to the town. In twenty-three years only two homes were taken by tax deeding but were both sold back to the owners.
The Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s office is located on the first floor at the Town Hall. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00AM – 4:30PM. The phone number for the Town Clerk/Tax Collector, Elizabeth “Beth” Yeaton, is (603) 964-8562 or 964-6777. Her current elected term runs to 2015. You can visit the Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s page on the Town of Rye website at www.town.rye.nh.us for more specific information on most of the services provided. Look under “Departments” on the home page.