Why are property taxes so high? Downshifting!

In Governor Sununu’s budget address he stated that the state can’t control property taxes … well, that’s not true!
When our legislators claim they are cutting the budget, many of those cuts are pushed onto local communities.
The state made a promise to local governments in 1967 that it would aid in funding pension costs as an incentive for cities and towns to join the retirement pool to share its burden. Originally, the State contributed 40%, but since 1977, the State of New Hampshire paid 35% of the retirement costs to towns for teachers, police, officers and firefighters. Until recently, that is. In 2011 the Bill O’Brien legislature cut that 35% to 0%, which downshifted the costs onto our towns. That decision by legislators to first reduce and then eliminate the state’s contribution to public employee pension costs resulted in the single biggest increase in local property taxes ever levied.
This week, a bill sponsored by State Representative Renny Cushing (D-Hampton), will come to the NH House floor for a vote. The bill (HB 413) would raise the state contribution to the retirement system back to 15%, which will lower the burden on local communities. IF OUR REPS OR SENATOR VOTE AGAINST HB 413, they are voting against our local communities.
More Information:
Seacoast Online: State Must Keep Its Pension Promises
Concord Monitor: Editorial – Restore the State’s Pension Contribution
Concord Monitor: The Season of Downshifting (From December)
This post was based on a message from Sue Ford, NHDP Grassroots coordinator.

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