Editor’s note: The following is from a letter sent by a group of town and city officials across New Hampshire to New Hampshire Senate President Donna Soucy and Stephen Shurtleff, Speaker of the New Hampshire House.
We the undersigned, a group of individual local municipal officials, write to you today to urge you to work with Governor Sununu in crafting a true compromise budget, with buy-in from both Democrats and Republicans. Like all Granite Staters, we have been following events in Concord with respect to the state budget. We believe Governor Sununu made the right decision in vetoing the proposed state budget.
We all agree — it is important for our cities and towns that the state passes a budget. But we also agree that Governor Sununu’s veto contained very important points.
Governor Sununu has made clear that he supports many of the proposals in the legislature’s budget to assist cities and towns with additional aid — many of which were also in his budget. But we believe that he is right to oppose a budget that leaves taxpayers on the hook for a nearly $100 million structural deficit. The last time the state carried such a deficit, it resulted in significant cuts at the state level and municipalities were left to pick up the tab. We cannot go back to those days.
Further, in opposing destructive tax increases, Governor Sununu has ensured that our economy will continue to grow and boost property values and provide for healthier revenue returns in our communities.
We encourage you to work with Governor Sununu to quickly find a compromise budget that will prioritize the needs of New Hampshire’s cities and towns but will not endanger our healthy economy or our state’s long-term finances.