A Think Tank I Don't Think Much Of
Our good friends at The Center for Public Policy Studies are making the “news” with another fanciful article by Colin “manning the spin machine” Manning of Fosters Daily Democrat.
This anti-Senate Bill # 2 group, NHCPPS, has for years drifted in and out of areas we at CNHT hold dear such as secret ballot voting through RSA 40:13 also known as SB2.
SB2 has saved the taxpayer's bacon over and over again since 1996 by stopping wild spending sprees at the traditional Town Meetings liberals and their public employee partners have taken over in many towns.
What really caught my attention in the most recent bit of fiction Manning has come up with is this:
“Norton (new Director) said the center was established as a non-partisan think tank charged with gathering data on specific topics facing the state.
"My goal is to be non-partisan. My job is to provide data to policy-makers to help them make an informed decision," Norton said.
The only time the center takes a position is when it advocates for greater access to public information.
"As an organization, we advocate for one thing and that's enhanced access to information," said Norton.
One example of the center's success in that advocacy was the implementation of a new tracking system within the state Department of Education, giving educators and lawmakers the ability to keep better track of the drop-out rate.”
Greater access to public information?
I do not recall this “think tank” noticing what HB 626 would have done to our Right to Know Law had it passed in the last session. CNHT was first in that field of thinking. We were the ones who went public about secret meetings and telephone meetings becoming legal under this pathetic piece of legislation.
Where was NHCPPS? What no study?
Is it because they already get any information they want that they seemed not to care about the gutting of RSA 91-A?
I always wondered how NHCPPS gets all their data on dropout rates etc. when CNHT can hardly get the average daily attendance numbers required by law each October 1 until well after school district meetings in March of the next year? Most of the time our taxpayers have to file suit in Superior Court to get the most basic public information on anything.
Here are some titles of NHCPPS's quest to steer people away from SB2 before it became apparent it was one of the most popular pieces of enabling legislation ever. It looks like they gave up trying to sell their town charters to voters after four studies.
SB2 Adoption and Rescission Votes, 1996-2003 - February 2004
SB2 at 5: Bonds, Ballots, and the "Deliberative Session" - March 2002
Bonds and Ballots: Four Years Experience with 'SB2" in New Hampshire - March 2001
The Effect of the Official Ballot Referendum Form of Meeting on the Towns and School Districts of New Hampshire - February 2000
NHCPPS also has noticed that the elderly exemptions voters can adopt at town meetings as a defense against the organized school and town employee lobby. NHCPPS generated a study about that as well, claiming it shifts the burden of taxes onto one group.
No way! Really? Doesn't seem to bother the tax and spend crowd that fixed income people have to sell their homes because portfolio voters are cleansing the community of non-yuppies. But you place more of the spending on them and watch'em howl.
Here is an example of a “study” in response to our very successful Elderly Exemption campaign:
Shifting the Load: Cost, Effects, and the Potential Impact of Property-Tax Relief for New Hampshire's Seniors - February 2005
This report examines programs, implemented locally, to reduce property taxes on low-to-moderate income senior citizens. Statewide, more than 11,000 households received these tax exemptions in 2003 at a cost of more than $16 million—a cost shifted onto the other property-tax payers in the state. The cost for the 2004 tax year is likely to be at least $17.6 million. State law requires towns to provide small exemptions, and most towns have voted to extend much more generous tax breaks. The paper includes a table showing each town’s exemption levels, the number of exemptions claimed in each town, and the impact on each town’s property tax. The paper concludes that intergenerational tax equity issues are likely to grow more contentious as the size of the state’s senior population grows by 91 percent in the next 10 years.
That's right. Demographics are finally shifting in favor of the people most effected by over-spending and the “non-partisan” NHCPPS is taking notice.
This is why any broad based tax is totally and absolutely unnecessary
Think about that!