I have been asked: What do you think about taxes?
Well, like most people, I don’t like them, but I recognize them as a necessary evil. I am still too young to be considered a Senior by many definitions, but I am retired from my career. My husband recently retired, and is a Senior by most definitions. We are living on a fixed income.
I have lived at several economic levels: I know what it’s like to really struggle financially, and I know what it’s like to be quite comfortable. I know how to live within a budget and believe I am fairly fiscally conservative, but I do look at the long-term picture. I won’t support short-term savings if they will cost us more in the future.
For example: A number of years ago, I had a conversation with a NH State Rep who was serving on the Transportation Committee. He told me that it cost $50,000 to maintain one mile of highway every 8 years. However, if that highway is left for 15 years, it costs $1,000,000 per mile to replace. It might not look like it needs maintenance every 8 years, but given this data, I’d vote to spend $50K twice to save $900K over 15 years every time.
If you have a house with a roof that leaks, you put a pot under the leak during the storm. But once the storm clears, a responsible homeowner would figure out why the roof leaked, and fix it. They don’t just keep adding extra pots in each storm, and wait until the roof collapses. I will always vote to fix the leak before it causes more damage.
I will do absolutely everything I can to prevent NH from instituting a sales tax. That would be devastating to state-line towns like Salem! As I contemplate the prospects of being elected, and commuting to Concord two to four days per week, a gasoline tax increase concerns me. And I am not in favor of an income tax, either. I also see my property taxes going up, which is scary.
We have to look at what we are spending our tax dollars on, and what our options are. We need to keep an eye on tomorrow, and not just live day-to-day. We need to seek out ways to spend less, but without losing essential services, and without costing us more in the future. Then we need to find a fair and equitable way to pay for the services that we need. Frankly, I don’t have a solution. Yet.
In Salem and in New Hampshire, we have had too many occasions where we have tried to save by delaying a necessary repair, and have ended up spending more because we delayed. We need to start looking at the long-term impact of short-term savings.