I Probably Shouldn't Do This But....

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Greetings! This E-Blast, its commentary and opinion are the property of CNHT. It is sent to taxpayer activists all over NH and the US for re-distribution to their lists.

Well, we had a time of it in Deering this evening. Here is the background: The Selectmen, a representative from the NH DRA, and Assessing firm Avitar's Gary Roberge himself were holding a public hearing regarding our new assessment and tax rate. We had a moderator just like a town meeting. A rather large crowd for Deering showed up. Over a hundred people I imagine.

The mood was a combination of discontent, condescension, confusion, and a wish by most that it would end quickly. All in all it was your standard meeting about assessments. Some people come to vent about taxes and have no concept of spending being part of it. Others want an answer to their assessment problem. Often, they have never seen their property assessment card, only their tax bill. Some actually understand equalization, factors, coefficients of dispersion, algorithms, the decay of subatomic particles, tears in the time-space continuum and such other scientific concepts involved in property assessments. (They are the worst.) This is the public hearing world upon which assessing firms in NH thrive. There is no way to get a straight answer out of anyone at the front table since everyone in the audience gets a chance to speak. It is like an auction of wandering questions and bad answers chopped up and thrown to the dogs.

Until tonight.

Right in the front row was Deering resident Candy Greene - equipped with a list. Candy, a spry 60ish, appeared to be wearing some type of colorful macrame or knitted pants she made herself. Her hair was in a bun and I believe a pencil in the bun. Candy looked right at Gary Roberge and asked him who came up with this view tax assessment idea in the first place. She re-phrased it several ways and kept staring at Avitar's Mr. Roberge. Finally, after some embarrassingly long pauses he said, "I guess I did". There! He finally admitted it! God Bless you Candy Greene.

Mr Roberge would NOT admit he failed to do a proper assessment of Deering required by the Board of Tax and Land Appeals in 2004 and that he did not supply property sales data for land values his company set. He had some help in deflecting that problem from the DRA rep who was there. But then these guys all look out for each other. (This isn't over by a long shot.)

-- Ed Naile

Greetings! This E-Blast, its commentary and opinion are the property of CNHT. It is sent to taxpayer activists all over NH and the US for re-distribution to their lists.

More on The Commissar of Avitar's visit to Deering...

I was given one shot last night at asking a question of Mr. Roberge in front of a hundred or so peasants. So I tried to sum up a point a lawyer speaking before me had initiated regarding Avitar's lack of supporting data for the 2004, $84,000.00 complete re-val oger which we are still fighting.

Mr. Roberge insisted I was mistaken and that he had, in fact, given the town, the DRA, and the Board of Tax and Land Appeals a complete assessment manual as per Admin Rule 600.

I begged to differ and told him I had the tape of a Nov. 19, 2005 BTLA hearing at which he testified he did not supply said data.

He once again told me I was mistaken.

I offered to play the tape but had no tape player. The town would not offer one from upstairs in the Town Office. I approached the moderator when he asked how long the tape would take to play. I told him it would only take a short time and that I would RENT THE TOWN HALL MYSELF and play the whole tape if I had to!! He gave me time to drive home and get a tape player.

I cranked up the tape and held it over my head for those assembled. The BTLA judge Franklin was heard on the tape swearing everyone in and stating: "We are here today regarding the lack of sales analysis and supporting data regarding the land sales in Deering during the 2004 reassessment as well as the following high C.O.D." (15% right after the re-val.)

Next was about a minute of Roberge explaining, on tape, why the sales data was not in the manual, summing up his statements with a quote that it was not there.

Needless to say it appeared the 'Commissar of Avitar' was not happy with me. The DRA guy (Boley?) came to his defense. Our selectmen had the harmless look of the three famous monkeys who do not see, speak, or hear any evil.

(Credit goes to Chuck Black for the "commissar" handle for Roberge)

-- Ed Naile