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Protecting local taxpayers

June 12. 2018 8:36PM

To the Editor: During this last session of the New Hampshire Legislature, the members of the Ways and Means Committee voted against citizens when they voted to kill House Bill 1673. This bill would have reduced the 12 percent and 18 percent interest charged by towns and cities on delinquent property taxes. The sponsors believed no government shall make money beyond the taxes approved by voters, and the New Hampshire Municipal Association (NHMA) testified that towns and cities would lose hundreds of thousands of dollars if the bill passed.

The NHMA pays its lobbyist through dues extracted in towns and cities budgets from property taxes, so in effect we pay to have them work against the citizen.

But there is good news. Rep. Kevin Scully, R-Nashua, introduced a bill to reduce the interest towns and cities could charge. Even though Ways and Means voted to kill HB 1673, Rep. John Burt brought it up for a floor vote so that no usurious interest would be charged to property owners who can’t afford it. And it passed.

So many property owners have been overcharged in interest for the last 30 years. Many have lost their property even though selectmen had discretion to reduce the interest, and even the amount owed in taxes.

Reps. Scully and Burt deserve the thanks of every citizen who have trouble paying their property taxes. A real thumbs down to the high paid lobbyist of the NHMA who testified against reduction of the interest.



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