Home » Opinion » Editorials
The '1 percent': Manchester's tax hike
Amid loud calls for more spending, Manchester's property tax rate rose just 1 percent this year. Nashua's rose by 2.5 percent. The spending caps are working, and taxpayers should be thankful.
This year has been a tough one for Manchester schools as a tight budget and a refusal by the teachers union to consider paying more for health and pension benefits led to layoffs. Those layoffs led to an increase in city class sizes, which led to a protest in which parents called for the city to spend more money to hire more teachers. (It's curious that parents, who on average pay a larger share of their health and retirement costs than teachers do, never protest to demand that teachers pay the same percentages as in the private sector.)
The spending cap, though, prompted aldermen to refrain from simply raising taxes to hire more teachers. They could have voted to override the cap, and they considered it, but they decided it would be too politically risky. Without more revenue, the school board faced reality and made some long overdue changes, such as giving the superintendent more control over curriculum and staffing decisions and voting to allow advertising in schools (see companion editorial).
The spending cap, then, must be the enemy of adequately funding public schools, right? Not at all. In Nashua, which has had a spending cap since 1993, the school district regularly runs a surplus. This year the schools returned $684,468 to the city.
Nashua has learned to budget within its cap most of the time (aldermen sometimes override it). The city budget is not devastated; the schools are not falling apart. Manchester, too, can adequately fund its schools and live within its means. It's up to the aldermen, mayor and school board to make that happen.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Arsenault boyfriend's expenses billed to diocese - 0
- Bow police officer continues trek up Mount Everest - 0
- Latest Groton wind farm fight: Snow plowing - 5
- AG to appeal ruling reinstating County Attorney Jim Reams - 3
- Supreme Court: Liquor Commission, trial judge did not follow right-to-know law - 1
- Judge reinstates suspended Rockingham County attorney - 4
- Former Manchester school chief Tom Brennan dies a year after he retired - 6
- Speedway, NH casino called a natural fit, track's GM says - 8
- Federal data shows which doctors reap Medicare millions - 3
READER COMMENTS: 0
- UNH library halts book disposal after complaints - 0
- Tom Herzig's Trackside: Valenti Modified race was top shelf - 0
- Manchester school official points to 7 weapons cases not brought to conduct committee - 0
- Edie Loeb Tomasko dies, leaves UpReach Therapeutic Riding Center legacy - 0
- Witt named UNH women’s hockey coach - 0
- Ian Clark's High School Lacrosse: Bedford boys remains focused on third title - 0
- Fisher Cats steal home, beat New Britain - 0
- Executive Council vote: Centralized immunization registry becoming a reality - 0
- Littleton music store still playing the right notes - 0
New Hampshire Club Notes
Younger of two brothers convicted of murdering parents quietly released after 18 years in prison