"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Selectmen Highlight September 10th 2015

  • George Sansoucy , in the first year of his five year contract as the Town's utility appraiser, presented his values for the various public utilities in town. His numbers are considerably higher than those previously provided by NH DRA. The methodology he uses is very complex ( we received a 74 page packet )  and is not the same as used by the  NH DRA. Many towns have been using independent utility appraisers as the values NH DRA provides are significantly lower. Per Mr. Sansoucy: 
    • Eversource went from $353,300 to $1,589,200
    • NH Elec. Coop went from $9,361,300 to $27,755,300
    • Lakes Region Water went from $1,193,389 to $1,672189
    • Fairpoint went from $1,204,820 to $5,087,000
    • TWC went from $314,300 to $1,705,800
    • TDS Merrimack Co., Tel., went from $0 to $283,400
The total increase in value is $25,665,780.  The increase in tax revenue for 2015 will be approximately $162 K. The utilities are taxed at the county, town and school tax rates, but not the state education tax rate. As Mr. Sansoucy stated, the utilities, especially the Co-op, will seek abatements as others have in about 70 or so communities around the state. Defense of the abatements and legal fees will be shared by all 70 communities so the impact to each town is fairly small.
I asked about the cost of the increase being passed on to consumers and the response was that it should not, as the rates are not set town by town, and huge companies such as TWC can easily absorb it. I am not sure that will be the case with tiny Lakes Region Water Supply or the member owned NH Elec. Co-op. The Co-op is only about 75K members. If property taxes increase along the same lines as Moultonboro around the state, it may have an impact on our electric bill. Time will tell as many court cases have yet to be decided, but for this year, we can expect a bump in revenue that will reduce the tax rate when set by NH DRA this fall. 
  • A proposal to expend $43,500 from the Communication Technology Fund was approved. This money will be used to pay Fairpoint to offer up to 15 mbs internet speed in the Brick Kiln and surrounding neighborhoods ( 60+ homes) and increase from 1.5 mbs to at least 7 mbs for Indian Carry Road, Heron Pond Trail, Tommy Lot Road and some of Red Hill Road. This is the first time money has been expended from that trust fund which was created in 2008 and is funded by those in town that have TWC in the form of a franchise fee. Thanks were offered to Bill Gassman for his continued work on this ongoing effort.
  • Our new Town Administrator, Walter Johnson, attended his first meeting as our new TA and was welcomed with an informal reception prior to the meeting and a beautiful cake prepared by Heath's Supermarket.


Anonymous said...

I doubt Fairpoint and TWC will simply just absorb 400% and 500% NH real estate tax increases without passing it along to the customers. The companies may seek abatements but they must pay the taxes immediately in order to seek the abatements. This isn't simply a town practice since you mentioned 70 communities. The tax increase for those 70 communities is probably tens of millions statewide. The same applies to the Co-op but we know we will pay that. NH already has some of the highest rates in the country.

Blogger, it would be helpful if you provided a brief explanation of the reason for the dramatic increase in assessed values.

Joseph Cormier said...

So, is this the basis for the lawyer arguments that will surely come up?


RSA 83-F Utility tax


Will probably be more of these:


Terence C. Jatko said...

If this appraiser's numbers can stand actual informed scrutiny, he's sure to become the most popular guy in the state, at least with the money-grubbers and big spenders in government. Of course, he's certain the utilities won't pass along costs to the consumer; in other news, the moon IS made of green cheese and the government IS here to help you.

Town Hall Junkie said...

So BIG brother gets another income stream. It is impossible to know what BiG bro actually costs us.... This is another Terezini leftover. There was not much popular sentiment in persuing this, but he wanted it....The man of many pockets loved your pocket best.

Anonymous said...

This will reduce the tax rate by $162,000 which the ratepayers (us) of the utilities will pay. The only ones that make out in this deal is Sansoucy and possibly lawyers. It is not as is we have some major site in town such as a dam or generating plant that provides a service to a surrounding area. The poles wires, and substations service our town. I hope the abatements are granted. Why is there such a discrepancy between the DRA and Sansoucy numbers?

Town Hall Junkie said...

HEY. WHOA HERE. I already pay the property tax on that land, where I gave PSNH permission to run my electric wires. SO NOW THE TOWN DOUBLE TAXES IT.....and I pay more for my electric, and pay the property tax too. We all need to realize that every penny of this fiasco will come out of our pocket. We are standing in the bucket, trying to pick ourselves up, by the bail.

Joseph Cormier said...

Got a notice in the mail, today, from Lakes Region Water, our Association supplier of water.

Lakes Region Water proposed a permanent increase of $398,275 or 38.18%

NH PUC Order NO. 25,809

NH DRA Orders

Have a nice day ... I'm not!