My Turn: Republicans have announced plans to increase property taxes

For the Monitor
Published: 11/16/2020 6:15:10 AM

Less than one week after the election, Gov. Chris Sununu announced that his first priority with the incoming Republican majorities in the House and Senate will be to raise your property taxes.

The last budget, passed by the Democratic-controlled Legislature in 2019, contained historic investments in cities and towns, returning over $100 million dollars to taxpayers all over the state. The biggest priority of Democrats was to send money directly to cities and towns to decrease property taxes, and we delivered.

Last week, Sununu announced that in the middle of a pandemic, with the state facing historic revenue shortfalls, his first priority was going to be additional tax cuts for big business. Without the revenue generated from large, out-of-state businesses, you can say goodbye to New Hampshire’s historic investment in education. You can say goodbye to municipal grants returning state money to your municipality. You can also say goodbye to fully funding DCYF, needed substance misuse funding, and investments in our roads and bridges.

Instead, you can look forward to a higher property tax bill next year. Knowing full well that they are shifting the burden on the local taxpayer, Republicans hope that you won’t notice and will be unable to connect the dots. When local taxes rise to cover obligations that the state reneges on, they hope that you will blame your municipality instead of the Republicans in Concord making the decisions.

Sununu has already signaled that his No. 1 priority is appeasing the big corporate donors that he needs to finance his next statewide campaign. Corporations that can fork over thousands of dollars in contributions are deemed more important than individuals struggling to provide for their families. That’s why the governor is already advocating for business tax cuts at the expense of Granite Staters.

Democrats in the Legislature know better. We know that continually increasing property taxes creates real hardships for many Granite Staters and harms our state’s economy. Retired people all over New Hampshire are trying to figure out how they are going to keep their homes. Young people who might otherwise set roots down in New Hampshire are forced to leave. Particularly in the last decade, broken promises to local cities and towns have driven property tax increases. By passing a budget with massive investments in education and local municipalities, Democrats began to address climbing property taxes two years ago. Now, a week after the election, the Republicans are promising to return to form.

We will continue to fight for policies that lower taxes for all Granite Staters. We will also continue to fight for policies to make your lives better. Just remember that next year when your town sends you the notice of your property taxes rising, you can thank Republicans in Concord for making that happen.

(Rep. Mary Jane Wallner represents Concord Ward 5 and Hopkinton and served as the House Finance chair in 2019-2020)


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