The New Hampshire Senate approved a bill to institute a tax amnesty program that would allow taxpayers to catch up on unpaid taxes without penalty or interest. If the amnesty becomes law, the window would be open for six weeks, from September first through October fifteenth. The Department of Revenue Administration estimates the program would bring in approximately fifteen million dollars in unpaid taxes. The tax amnesty, Senate Bill Thirty Four, sponsored by District Nine State Senator Andy Sanborn, Republican from Bedford, also includes a voluntary disclosure provision, which lets taxpayers disclose a tax liability currently unknown to the D R A.
The Governess Margaret Wood Hassan included the revenue projections from tax amnesty plan in her proposed budget, but would spend the money to pay for spending in the current fiscal year. The bill, however, allocates the anticipated revenue to one-time expenditures in the coming two thousand sixteen fiscal year. The first fifty thousand dollars would go to D R A to administer and market the program. The next half a million would be used to set up a first-ever taxpayer E-File system…finally. The remainder, up to $15 million, would go to cities and towns for local highway and bridge projects. Quote: “We have a responsibility to use one-time revenues on one-time expenses, rather than to prop up programs we won’t be able to afford in the next budget,” Sanborn said. “This bill recognizes that most New Hampshire families and business pay their taxes on time, while giving those who’ve fallen behind a chance to catch up.”
The State Senate also approved, by a two to one margin, Senate Bill Eight, which would block Hassan’s proposed raid of seven million dollars from nursing home and home health care reimbursements. Senate Finance Committee Chair Jeanie Forrester, Republican from Meredith, who introduced the bill and has led the fight to block the transfers issued a statement saying quote “The state budget that the Senate passed unanimously and the Governor signed into law specifically protected these nursing home and home health care funds from being cut to pay for other spending. The Governor has chosen to ignore that part of the law, and this bill would restore the intent of the budget we all agreed to.” Forrester’s statement also said that because the money that Hassan wants to take is matched by the federal government, her raid would actually end up costing nursing homes and home health care providers fourteen million dollars.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Last week we reported that the New Hampshire Department of Education had initiated a pilot program to reduce the number of standardized tests and substitute the Smarter Balanced Assessment for locally developed ones in four school districts. Mayor Ted Gatsas raised the issue at last Monday’s Board of School Committee meeting, expressing his frustration that Manchester had not been invited to participate. Gatsas said nobody he’d talked to in the administration had received the invitation, despite the state’s assertion that every school district in the state had been invited to participate.
Assistant Superintendent David Ryan confirmed the mayor’s understanding, saying “no” when the mayor asked if the district had been approached. Turns out Ryan forgot about an email that Superintendent Debra Livingston, who was absent from the meeting, forwarded to him on the question about eleven months ago. Tabloid Ted Siefer reported the forgotten email in yesterday’s New Hampshire Sunday News. Apparently after Siefer committed a random act of journalism, Ryan was caused to search his inbox, saying his memory clearly failed him because he was unfamiliar with the program’s acronym, which is PACE.
School book publishing giant Pearson, a key player in the conversion of the United States to the Common Core national standards and a publisher of the PARCC Assessment (Smarter Balanced’s similarly evil twin) has been caught spying on kids’ social media accounts in New Jersey. What’s worse is the N knew it was taking place and sanctioned it. You can imagine folks aren’t amused in the Garden State. We have linked to the details.
The Manchester Police Department will swear in eleven new officer’s today. The department’s been on something of hiring binge adding twenty five new officers this fiscal year, including the eleven that will be sworn in today. More are in the works, too as the city continues to address ongoing crime issues. We’ve posted the details of today’s event, along with the department provide biographies of the officers to be sworn in on Girard at Large dot com and linked to it from this newscast.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next!