Letter: Property tax pain
On Friday, April 2, 1999, a Monitor headline read: “House kills Senate gambling plan.”
Fifteen years later, in early May, the House killed the same type of proposal. This repetition is like treating chronic pain with repeated doses of narcotics without knowing the cause of the pain.
Locally, the property tax is the cause of pain for the majority of New Hampshire taxpayers.
The property tax system cannot support the geographic and political realities of New Hampshire towns in the 21st century because the days when one’s property provided income are long gone for most of us.
There are many hidden consequences of New Hampshire’s tax structure: First, the state, despite claiming to be a “business friendly” place, heavily taxes businesses.
Second, there are shaky revenue sources such as the Medicaid Enhancement Tax, which was recently thrown out by the courts and should have ended years ago.
Third, New Hampshire is being divided into wealthy towns and poorer towns.
Towns with high property values have a lower tax rate than towns with a lower tax base.
This disconnect hit home in 2008 when one wage earner of a two-income family lost their job and, for some, their home.
We don’t need more painkillers.
What is needed is an honest discussion about the realities of the 21st century and the inability of the current system to be fair and just to everyone.
JAMES W. SQUIRES