Hopkinton has been front and center in the assessment bad news game these days. Pity the poor people who have seen their taxes double and triple. Like you couldn't see it coming.
What you can see coming as well is the “we need an income tax” opinion pieces and letters to the editor from the same old crowd. Nice try.
Hopkinton is one of the wealthiest towns in NH. About 50% of its residents have a bachelors degree. These people are not stupid. They are all about their portfolios. The more land you lock up in conservation, the more the land leftover is worth and the more exclusive the stratified community becomes. The bigger library you build, the bigger the community center you have, the more you spend on schools - the more value you get for your tax-and-spend buck. Chip and Buffy (the environmentalists) sell their home to an even more affluent couple and the cycle continues.
So an income tax, sales tax, vat tax, gambling, you name it, no broad-based tax will ever stop the haves in Hopkinton from spending and zoning the middle-class out of THEIR town.
The technique is called “gentrification,” or better yet, by the term that best describes it, “ethnic cleansing.”
Oh the Planning Board will make sure there will be enough “workforce housing units” to satisfy the “community needs”. Once enough portfolio voters have taken charge it is only a matter of time until the locals will be forced to move on.
Hollis has been at this for years. This year they raised money at the town meeting for a study to see why people can not pay their property taxes. Sweet. More taxes and a lame attempt at covering up what is really going on.
Read the tea leaves in Hanover's 2006 zoning amendments. Anybody out there with enough cash for ten acres in Hanover? An income tax won't stop this.
Full Text of Article 17: Amendment No. 16 Article by Petition:
To remove Planned Residential Developments from the Rural Residential (RR) District.
Full Text of Article 19: Amendment No. 18 Article by Petition:
Requiring a Minimum Lot Size of 10 Acres for Major Subdivisions in the Rural Residential (RR)
There may be time for moderate income and fixed income Hopkinton residents to take their town back from the portfolio voters. To do it they must expose the tax and spenders scheme not fall into the trap of asking Concord for help.