Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Anti-tax crusaders take on city hall

The article below I believe is miss-titled because the group is not anti-tax but more so they are asking their taxes to be reasonable and fair. It is not unfair to ask our government to keep spending and taxes within the rate of inflation. In fact to spend greater than the rate of inflation is selfish on the part of school and government employees who benefit from taxpayers hard earned dollars. I would hope that both the Croydon school board and the Croydon selectmen elect to put this on the ballot for the next election. To not do so would be putting the interests of the tax-eaters ahead of the taxpayers especially during this recession and with gas prices as high as they are today.


Quote of the Day - "We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." -- Winston Churchill

The story below appeared in the Union Leader.

Anti-tax crusaders take on city hall
New Hampshire Union Leader Staff

MANCHESTER – A group of anti-tax crusaders is launching a campaign to block Queen City officials from driving up the city's tax rate.

The conservative New Hampshire Advantage Coalition is leading the drive to put a cap on taxes and spending, tying both to the rate of inflation. Voters would have a chance to approve the proposal when they go to the polls in November.

"This really will help the taxpayers. It will force the government to look at how they're doing business every day," said Mike Biundo, the coalition's president.

The effort got under way in Manchester yesterday afternoon, when coalition leaders filed a petition with the City Clerk's Office. They estimate they'll need to collect about 4,000 signatures to get their question on the November ballot.

Similar petitions will be filed today in Concord, Merrimack and Rochester, Biundo said. All told, the group hopes to put the question to voters in 11 New Hampshire communities.

"The New Hampshire Advantage Coalition is looking to send a message to lawmakers on all levels that the only way to keep our low-tax advantage is to hold the line on spending," Biundo said.

Proponents of a spending cap tried and failed to get a referendum on the ballot in 2005 and 2007. A 2005 petition drive garnered 5,100 signatures, but state agencies struck the proposal off the ballot, saying it was legally flawed.

Mayor Frank Guinta, who was then an aldermen, rewrote the proposal as a non-binding referendum. The other aldermen refused to put the question on the ballot.

The New Hampshire Advantage Coalition's proposal would tie city spending to the consumer price index, as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor. The tax rate would be tied to the same index.

The proposal comes with an escape clause. In any given year, the city could override the cap by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

The proposal also gives the aldermen some flexibility in the event of a citywide property revaluation, or when the city issues bonds to pay for capital projects.

Aldermen Ed Osborne, a Democrat, said an escape clause would be crucial if the question were approved.

"As long as you can get out of it, I have no problem with it," he said.

The coalition's drive in Manchester will be led by businessman Karl Beisel, who pushed for spending caps in 2005 and 2007. Members of the committee that will assist him include Tammy Simmons, Barbara Hagan, Keith Murphy and Roger Wilkins.

Beisel predicted the committee would collect more than 5,000 signatures. He said he is confident the group will succeed in putting the question on the ballot, noting the language is similar to spending caps adopted in Dover.

Laconia and Franklin also have caps.

"As far as I know, every city that's put a measure like this to the voters has passed (it)," he said. "I certainly think Manchester would be no exception."

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