After attending the latest Peterborough town meeting in May 2010, I left with the feeling that Peterborough had adopted their own version of the Friends and Family Property Tax policy, based on their interpretation of being “GREEN”.
To understand we have to go back 3 meetings ago (May 2009) when a group of citizens brought forward an article to give property tax exemptions to people who put in GREEN Energy systems. The Selectmen originally supported this action with articles in the local newspaper. By the time of the meeting they had decided it would be impossible to implement. After considerable discussion, and passionate pleas the article passed. Not only did it pass, the 1976 Solar Energy Exemption was removed as it was included in the new ordinance.
In September 2009 a special town meeting was called. Along with other business, the Green Energy exemption was again on the warrant. This time the Selectmen explained that it was there to remove it as it had been impossible to implement as they previously stated. The meeting body went along and voted to remove the Green Energy Exemption and re-activate the Solar Energy Exemption we removed in May 2009. A promise was made that the Green Committee would continue refining the exemption article and would present it at the May 2010 meeting.
At the May 2010 Town Meeting the article was again included to vote to remove it. This time it they explained that the NH DRA stated that the Meeting in Septmeber 2009 hadn’t been advertised properly so the September 2009 vote to kill the exemption was invalid, as was the re-activation of the Solar Energy Exemption.
If you have never been to Peterborough Town Meetings they are well attended by activists and town employees. All the usual characters were there. The Bird Lady, I love her bird articles in the newspaper, the various Conservation Committee members, the residents, and owners of the “Ultra Green” Nubanusit CLUMPAH (Communal Living Upwardly Mobile Professionals and Aging Hippies) Housing and various other GREEN Activists. I’m thinking this should be an interesting hour or two of impassioned pleas to save the planet.
Selectman Byk got up and explained the situation with the DRA and how all the various attempts at promoting the use of Green Energy had the same issue with how to implement the ordinance.
Then Selectman Byk made the statement of the night. He said that the town was all for promoting GREEN Living however after all that had transpired they had come to the conclusion that just not including these systems in the property valuations was the best way for the town to promote being GREEN.
One person got up and said that when they work on any future ordinances she didn’t think they should include wood burning systems as they are very dirty and polluting.
Then silence. Not one word from any of the activists, nothing from the original writer of the GREEN Energy exemption, nothing from the Nubanusit CLUMPAH Housing residents and owners, nothing, nada, zilch!
The removal of the Green Energy ordinance and the 1976 Solar Energy Exemption passed nearly unanimously!
I was speechless, the fix is in!
Work Hard Have Fun!
PS If you desire to live communally, it will cost you! Entry into the Nubanusit CLUMPAH Housing will cost you somewhere between $300K and $700K! Plus, monthly “Condo Fees”.