Sunday, March 16, 2008

It's Not The Lack Of Taxes, But The Excess Of Spending

For the most part Town Meetings are finished for 2008. There are still a few that either haven't been held yet or haven't finished yet due to lengthy debates that will require reconvening at a later date.

It appears the taxpayers have sent a message to their towns, and by extension, to their legislators in Concord that we cannot afford to keep raising taxes at a rate above inflation. The 17.5% increase in the state budget may have looked great on paper, but the Democrats who pushed for that increase didn't seem to care that the taxpayers in New Hampshire didn't want to pay for it, seeing it as nothing more than a way to steal even more hard earned money from their wallets yet getting nothing in return.

Quite a few towns, including my home town, held the line on spending, keeping the size of their budgets stable, if not cutting them. The voters of one town, Allenstown, defeated every spending warrant article on the town warrant. Unlike the so-called Fair Tax Coalition, a group promoting some kind of alternative to property taxes, i.e. broadbased taxes, these folks understood the key to keeping taxes in check, and specifically property taxes, is to control the spending. No amount of 'alternative' taxes will fix the rising property taxes if spending isn't held in check.

Property taxes are among New Hampshire residents' most common complaints and who can blame them?

Stable property taxes are rare in New Hampshire. They have gone the way of similar levies in other states — in states where the people were sold and they bought into a false tale of how their lives would change if they added an income tax or a general sales tax — or eventually both — to the mix.

High property taxes are the result of too many local governments giving in to too many special interests who want their nests feathered by the taxpayers. Governments themselves — state and county, as well as local — are major contributors to the property tax crisis in New Hampshire.

It is fraud to contend the enactment of an income tax or a general sales tax would serve to relieve the burden of taxes in New Hampshire. The flow might be more difficult for the homeowner to ascertain, but it will still be there.

New Hampshire has to return to its roots. State, county and local governments have to step away from enacting budgets the people cannot afford to fund — budgets that represent 17 percent, 15 percent and even 4 percent increases.

Unfortunately not all the towns held the line on spending. Bogie reports voters in her home town of Deering spent money like drunken sailors. I guess they felt their property taxes weren't high enough or they figure the state will bail them out once an income or sales tax is imposed upon the unwilling populace.

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