Apparently this post went viral yesterday. I guess nothing gets people worked up more than a discussion of taxes.
I’ve corrected a mistake in that post where, after referring to “town portion of the tax rate”, I simply say “town tax rate”. Some people seemed to get the idea that I was predicting an 18% increase in the total tax rate. To see how the tax rate breaks down into it’s components, read this post.
When the 11.5% increase in the total tax rate was announced last year, everyone was shocked and even the Board of Selectmen seemed to be surprised. My point is that these things are predictable within a pretty small margin of error. The state doesn’t use a ouija board to set the rates. For the town portion, they simply apply a known algorithm to the information that is supplied by the town. Same for the other components with information from their respective sources. The SAU has said that the potential total tax impact of their warrant will be 21 cents.
So if we look at this stuff and pay attention, there shouldn’t be any surprise when the rate goes up, or down (just kidding), a lot. After we vote on the warrant, I’ll add up the components that passed and request from the town an estimate of any surplus that might be applied.
btw/ The town portion of the total tax rate is about 37%, so an 18% increase in that would add .37 x .18 = 6.6% to the total tax rate.
ya’ know this has to drive that musical group, Owen and the opinionated FIve, crazy. This blog shows the power of internet communication that no one in Town Hall ever uses. Many people, myself included have given up encouraging them to have a periodic communication vehicle with taxpayers. Either they lack the ambition or they just believe truly, as Ms. Silk so famously stated in public, “the BOS are the mothers and fathers of the town” which I take to say that the public are merely children who should be seen and not heard. This is the age of instant information, not the occasional weekly reporter’s selective notes of meetings or an occasionally poorly done video on Channel 25. On NPR today, the subject on the Exchange was the overall increase of property taxes statewide in NH, the average was 14% over the last decade as the State dries up the local aid spigot. And the prediction of the panelists is for more local aid to dry up and property taxes to continue to advance. The problem in Wolfeboro is the local government revels in the fact,due to our huge assesed town value, are lower than lots of town communities. Thus elected officials feel we have a lot of freeboard for tax increases, rather than adopting a laser focus on trying to keep our taxes low. They disregard the data set from the 2010 census that shows how many seniors on fixed lower incomes there are in Wolfeboro and continue to make poor decisions and advocate positions that the majority continue to vote against.