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

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Taxpayers Unhappy About Taxes...Going Down

In an interesting  development, some Derry residents are unhappy about Town Councilors proposed budget cuts, and filed eight petitions last July to overturn them. After the Councilors refused, they then raised $10,000 to hire an attorney and three of them filed suit and took the Councilors to court. The citizens calling themselves  Derry Residents United want to have the Council’s controversial budget cuts reversed or put to a special election. The Derry Town Charter allows for a referendum petition and a special election (Section 3.3) to be held. If the Councilors fail to repeal the protested measure, a special election needs to occur not less than thirty of more than 60 days after the Council vote. 
The budget cuts are for eight firefighter positions, closing a fire station and using it for storage and cutting the Fire Department's overtime budget by $436,000. 
The lower court in September ruled that Derry must hold a special election by the end of September and that the Councilors violated the charter by rejecting the petition and refusing to hold a special election. The Town Council appealed the ruling to the NH Supreme court who denied the appeal. The special election will be held October 13th. 
In kind of a " reverse" intimidation effect, residents who support the cuts did not turn out to the Council meetings due to the and vocal crowd that were against the cuts. 
In this article in the Union Leader, Americans For Prosperity have taken an interest in this development and are working with several Derry residents, including Councilor Mark Osborne who contacted them, presumably on the side of keeping the budget cuts. 
The current tax rate for Derry is $29.42.


Anonymous said...

No way of telling but I wonder how many of the petitioners against the budget cuts are property owners and so therefore taxpayers.

Joseph Cormier said...

Is it really about taxes, or town gentries/politics, ... losing town jobs and expenses.

Does MoBo have similar issues? Hell no, they say! MoBo's got plenty of money. It has one of lowest tax rates in the state.

It's wonderful! A town of about 4,000 residents (supposedly, close to that, are registered voters), about 7,000 properties to be taxed, and only a couple hundred folks attend the annual town meeting (I didn't mention SB-2). The most property tax money, comes from those folks who can't vote in the annual town meeting.

I haven't mentioned SB-2.

The MoBo tax rate will probably be @ 9.++, not the present 8.86.

The courts, in essence, told the Derry Council to follow the law and process. Doesn't mean the cuts will be reversed, however.

Petitions support: wonder why!

There's a process/statute that 50 (not 25) town petitioners can call a special town meeting. I can remember a year or two back, when I started to attend BoS meetings, and got puzzled looks when I commented about it. They'd never heard of it, and town counsel probably never mentioned it.

RSA 39:3

However, if money is involved:
RSA 31:5

With town budgets and town meeting coming into conversation, an appropriate update:

“Town meetings don’t work anymore.” “They’re an anachronism.” “They’re rigged.” “Nothing important is decided there.”


It's Your Money said...

Right, SB2 if you want a say in how YOUR tax dollars are spent. Amazing how many voters have bought the anti SB2 rhetoric from those that want to hang on to the power of the purse. Time for voters in Moultonboro to open their eyes and minds and take another look at SB2.

Anonymous said...

They should all move to Moultonborough....would not have to worry about taxes going down.