Beet Red Betsy

Hoooooooo Boy! How things have changed – if your State Rep. is Betsy Patten from Meredith.

Once the queen of the New Hampshire Municipal Association, she is now coming off as an angry school-marm trying to subdue an unruly crowd of peasants on a mission.

According to one of the laws the New Hampshire Assessing Standards Board chooses to follow is one that requires a public hearing, here and there, around the state to explain to the public what they have been doing behind closed doors. The public in this case is usually government officials or employees of some sort, mostly assessors or town managers.

So Wednesday at the Radisson in Manchester the ASB held one of these “public hearings” and in attendance were some angry anti-view tax activists. The ASB provided a very, very basic over-view of assessments. It seemed geared towards grade school children. That may have been a mistake.

When you give your angry opponents a simple, easy to understand, stupid, excuse for your now exposed attempt to cheat them, you create a perfect storm, so to speak.

Well that is what the ASB and Rep Patten did.

The Assessing Standards Board has created a “View Assessment” for property in NH and sprang it on already over-taxed citizens. Then they go and try to argue that it is an ASSESSMENT not a TAX. When you get your property tax bill there is no difference.

The problem is that the ASB has spent a lot of time and effort trying to invent a way to assess views on property by using a computer model instead of market data that proves what a view is worth by “fair market value”. They are not about to give it up.

They are as wrong as they can be and will not admit it. I can prove it one of many simple ways.

I live in Deering on 50 acres with an incredible 180 degree view. Our property borders 700 acres of Audubon property and we are on a dead end road.

We bought the property for the privacy and seclusion of the dead end road because we had horses and other animals. We were the only house on the road for ten years. The view was a bonus. The Audubon property has grown over the years from 400 acres.

We have a view tax/assessment but no seclusion or privacy assessment. That is simple enough.

But what about the Audubon property? I can show you many examples of property on the market, having in the real estate pages, a reference to “abuts conservation land” as a selling point.

What, no “abuts conservation land assessment”? If I had property on a lake it would be assessed by the linear foot, why not conservation land? Too politically incorrect. That's why.

Now let's take the “Potential View Assessment” issue that got Beet Red Betsy Booed.

As one anti-view tax gent decried the Potential View tax,  Beet Red Betsy grabbed the microphone and said she had never heard of such a thing and would like to see proof – any proof!

Up to the front of the room comes ASB Board Member Tom Thomson with a notebook containing proof. As Mr. Thomson tries to show her proof, Beet Red Betsy says: “I want you to go and sit down”.

Nice move!

See ya at the next ASB Meeting, Betsy. Bring all your charm.