District Nine State Senator Andy Sanborn, Republican of Bedford, has proposed a Tax Amnesty bill that would let delinquent taxpayers pay back taxes owed to the state without interest or penalties. Sanborn’s bill would use the one-time revenue generated by the program to set up New Hampshire’s first taxpayer E-File system and provide a one-time boost in state aid for local road construction projects. “New Hampshire has allowed a brief Tax Amnesty window twice before, and both have been successful,” Sanborn said. “But it’s important that we use this one-time revenue for one-time expenses, and not as a cash grab to make up for overspending in the current budget.”
Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, Republican from Wolfeboro, said Sanborn’s proposal would give taxpayers struggling through the recent recession a chance to fulfill their obligations and that it was “fiscally responsible.” Governor Margaret Wood Hassan has also proposed a tax amnesty program, but would use the revenues to offset current operating deficits. This discussion comes as new revenue figures released by the state show them to be on target with, and even a little ahead of projections, buttressing Republican claims that Hassan’s handling of expenditures is the reason for the state’s looming, and growing, budget deficit.
In the State House yesterday, more Republican state reps. voted for a motion to have Speaker Shawn Jasper appoint the leader chosen by their caucus as the Majority Leader than not, showing the party rift isn’t likely to go away soon. The motion failed, however, with the near unanimous support of the Democrats. State Representative Bill O’Brien, Republican from Mont Vernon, and his supporters have announced they will run their own caucus and are renting the former New Hampshire Republican Party Headquarters across the street from the State House as their base of operations. O’Brien named State. Rep. Stephen Stepanek, Republican from Amherst, deputy leader of the caucus and State Rep. Pam Tucker, Republican from Greenland as the floor leader.
In a follow up to a story we brought you yesterday, the House tabled, by a wide margin, a move by Jasper to double the number of seconds needed for a roll call vote.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Aldermen in Manchester reinstated a program designed to give property owners in the Central Business Service District a tax break if they renovate their properties. Under the plan, which is authorized by state law, property owners could see their taxable value not change for up to five years after improving their properties. This is the city’s second go around with this program. Four properties took advantage of the program when it was last implemented. The reinstatement had been sitting as a tabled item on committee agendas since two thousand twelve before being readopted Tuesday night. Ward Three Alderman Patrick Long inquired about the program being used in residential neighborhoods and was told it could only be used in the C B S D.
The aldermen also extended the deadline for a developer to complete due diligence on a pending project proposal for the Bedford Street Parking Lot.
Looks like a couple of School Administrative Units are in danger of disintegrating. The Auburn School Board has ordered a question to ballot asking voters to form a committee that would investigate leaving S A U Fifteen, which also includes the towns of Hooksett and Candia. The board voted unanimously to approve the ballot question on a motion made by School Board Member Anita Gildea and seconded by Marc Comeau at their meeting on December ninth. In case your wondering, Charles P. “Chucky the Super” Littlefield is Superintendent of S A U Fifteen and will be advising them through the process. We’ll have to keep an eye on that.
The Timberlane Regional School District may have some interesting questions on the ballot as well. Danville’s Board of Selectmen is spearheading a petition drive to change the formula by which towns pay tuition. Rather than simply raising taxes themselves to pay for each pupil from their town, they want the district to tax every town at the same tax rate to fund the district. This would lower their tax rate by six bucks per thousand. It would also cause the rate to fall by about three bucks per thousand in Sandown, but it would shift the cost burden to Plaistow and Atkinson, which have higher property valuations.
Citizens in Atkinson and Sandown, are circulating petitions to do as the Auburn School Board has done, ask the voters to create a committee to study leaving the S A U. Petition organizers in Sandown will be collecting signatures for the petition from Noon to 2 on Friday, Jan. 9th, that’s tomorrow in the Sandown Town Hall parking lot. Commenting on the multiple petition drives, Timberlane School Board Member Donna Green writes on her blog quote “It’s to be expected. Citizen’s unreasonably taxed will strike out for relief. Citizen’s who fear being unreasonably taxed will do the same.” We’ve linked to the blog she’s posted with all the petition details.
The Manchester Police Department will be holding its next entry-level police exam on Saturday, March twenty first at the N H Police Academy in Concord. The application period is now open and will be closing on Thursday, March twelfth. If you know anyone that is interested in taking the exam, please direct them to manchester n h dot gov slash jobs or manchester p d dot com. Please contact Officer Carl Accorto in the Training Division with any questions at 7 9 2 5 4 5 2.