Merrimack County District 27

  • Art Ellison

  • Rebecca McWilliams

  • Mike Visconti

Published: 10/16/2020 10:44:08 AM
DISTRICT 27

Merrimack County District 27 (2 seats) represents Concord (Wards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7)

Art Ellison

Party: Democrat

Age: 76

City of Residence: Concord

Occupation: State legislator

Incumbent? If so, how many terms: one term

What specific policy do you see as most vital? Fulling the state’s obligation to provide high quality services to its citizens. This will be a difficult task in the coming session because we will be faced with finding solutions on how to deal with the impact of Covid-19 on the state budget and the ongoing crisis related to school funding/property tax relief. Our traditional funding pattern for local school districts, with its reliance on local property taxes, has resulted in an unfair and unjust pattern of educational resources for New Hampshire’s children and taxpayers. The findings of the Commission on Educational Funding will provide guidance on remedies for that problem which, in spite of numerous attempts, have always failed in the past.

How do you plan to address the significant budget challenges our state will face in the months ahead? Given the scope of the fiscal challenges facing the state all possible revenue sources need to be reviewed in great detail, particularly in light of the impact that any changes might have on those citizens who are struggling economically. We cannot balance the state budget on the backs of those with limited resources.

Rebecca McWilliams

Party: Democrat

Age: 38

City of Residence: Concord

Occupation: Architect

Incumbent? If so, how many terms: Yes, 1 term

What specific policy do you see as most vital? I am working hard to champion legislation to address climate change in New Hampshire. In my first term, I introduced and passed legislation to update the state building code to modernize construction for better energy efficiency. Moving forward, we need to prioritize non-fossil fuel energy sources by focusing on increasing the net metering cap, offshore wind, more solar and hydro production, and green jobs. I am also working to address environmental and health issues such as reducing auto emissions, holding polluters accountable for PFAS contamination, and implementing modern solutions for how we handle compost, recycling and waste over the long-term.

How do you plan to address the significant budget challenges our state will face in the months ahead? NH has a long history of downshifting costs from the state to municipalities, and therefore relying on property tax, business tax, and tourism fees to balance the budget. That has not worked – the kettle has shifted from simmering to a boiling point. Austerity is not going to solve our anticipated COVID-19 revenue shortfalls; we will have to draw down from the State Rainy Day Fund. Starting with the 2021 term, New Hampshire's leaders need to honestly address our lack of a capital gains or income tax. Our current tax policy has created a haven for millionaires, but unfairly burdens everyone else through property tax alone, when these two revenue sources would pay for a much more equitable standard of living for all NH citizens.

Mike Visconti

Party: Republican

Age: 30

City of Residence: Concord

Occupation: Self-employed

What specific policy do you see as most vital? Preventing any new income or business taxes in New Hampshire while encouraging new business development.

How do you plan to address the significant budget challenges our state will face in the months ahead? We cannot allow the state government to punish taxpayers and businesses for a ballooning state budget with new or raising taxes/fees. We must work across party lines to find solutions to these problems without burdening the taxpayer.

■Japhet Stevens, a Republican from Concord, did not answer by deadline.




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