Aldermen in the city of Manchester want more information on a request to consider granting a property tax exemptions for the installation of solar panels. Keller Products of Manchester had petitioned the Board of Mayor and Aldermen seeking the establishment of a property tax exemption at its last meeting. Last night, the Committee on Accounts, Enrollment and Revenue Administration asked Board of Assessors’ Chairman Robert Gagne to come back to the committee with a proposal based on their discussion with David Keller. Committee Chairman Dan O’Neil, who was suddenly again all about jobs in the city, saying the city should consider granting an exemption that would reduce the value of properties for the purposes of paying property taxes as a way of supporting Kalwall Corporation, a solar panel producer, whom O’Neil said was an important employer in the city, one he wants to see stay and grow. Hey, I wonder if the thirty five acres of land they just rezoned on Hackett Hill would have been a place they could have expanded to in a future attempt to grow and stay. Anyway, Gagne, who noted the state law doesn’t provide an exemption value, also noted the city does not consider solar panels in their assessment of a property’s value and suggested the exemption be no greater than the cost of installation, which on a commercial property, could be substantial.
At meetings tonight, the aldermen on the Committee on Administration and Information Systems will consider a request from Ward Six Alderman Garth Corriveau to draft new regulations to govern the activities of ride sharing companies like Uber instead of subjecting them to the city’s Taxi Cab Ordinance like the City Clerk is trying to do. At the full Board of Mayor and Aldermen, they will see a request to begin negotiations to establish the wages, hours and conditions of employment for the newly created Fire Marshall’s position. Yay. They’ll also receive Manchester Benchmarks school demographic presentation given to the school board by Daniel Barrick, whom we interviewed on this show, of the the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies. Question: Will they make the connection between the city’s shifting socioeconomic demographic and the massive amount of high density rental housing the city’s allowed to be built over the past thirty years? Better question: Will they care if they do?
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Taxpayers in the Timberlane Regional School District just got a double whammy they didn’t expect. In reviewing materials from the budget committee meeting of last Thursday, Girard at Large came across an interesting piece of information. A half million dollar cut for a transformer project in the proposed budget isn’t really a cut. You see, according to our information, the Budget Committee eliminated the project because district administrators are planning to do the project out of this year’s budget. That means the expense was transferred from next year, where it was planned, to this year, where it wasn’t. Had it been a real cut, that half a million that will now be spent in this year’s budget would be a revenue to next years to offset the tax rate. As best we can tell, that means the only so called cuts made by the Budget Committee were vacant positions which, with benefits, amounted to somewhere around half a million to six hundred thousand dollars on a proposed sixty nine million dollar plus budget. We also learned from watching the budget committee that district administrators don’t believe that the budget committee should be looking at their revenue projections in the discussion of a budget. According to Business Administrator George Stokinger, their job is to only look at expenditures. He was challenged by Budget Committee Member Cathy Gorman on that and, well, we have the audio. Suffice it to say the law is inconvenient to how they do business down there.
Congressman-Elect Frank Guinta announced that Eddie Edwards, most recently the Police Chief for South Hampton, will join his staff as the Director of Community Relations. In 2014, Edwards was the Republican nominee for the District Four State Senate seat, which includes Barrington, Dover, Somersworth and Rollinsford. Prior to that, Edwards served in law enforcement for twenty four years in various capacities including Director of the New Hampshire State Liquor Enforcement Division. As Director of Community Relations, Edwards will be responsible for public outreach and community planning for Congressman Guinta. Specific areas of responsibilities include small business outreach, work with regional nonprofit agencies, and serving as the point person for Homeland Security related matters. Guinta’s release also said that Edwards’ law enforcement background would help develop solid lines of communication with law enforcement agencies at all levels.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.