I spent five and a half hours Friday with the Windsor Coalition of Taxpayers and a visiting Boston Globe reporter who is interested in what a pure democracy looks like when it goes awry. That is definitely Windsor.
We showed the Globe reporter, with document after document, how, depending on who you are in that town, property taxes don’t have to be paid. This problem goes back to 2000, according to the Windsor town father’s own admissions, as well as NH Department of Revenue records. CNHT knows it goes back farther than that. We have been working on this and other bizarre municipal nightmares there since 2006. We made two successful trips to Superior Court – so far.
Speaking of dates.
It appears the Windsor Tax Collector was working in longhand, on scrap paper, without a calculator or receipts, and with a schedule derived from the ancient Mayan Calendar which ends in 2012. The town finances in Windsor have collapsed three years early.
After all the history, data, statutes, folklore and chocolate chip cookies were evenly distributed and digested among our group, the Globe reporter casually mentioned to us that she stopped by the Windsor Town hall (30’ x40’ capacity 50 odd souls) and saw a note on the door. She copied it down. It said, roughly:
“There will be a meeting of the Windsor Selectmen March 21, at 7 pm to have the Town Attorney contact the NH Attorney General’s Office with the town audit.”
It looked like the Windsor Selectmen were about to hold an emergency meeting on a Friday evening to pack up the supposed audit, more like a Polaroid snapshot, of the town tax records to take to the Dept. of Rev. Admin. and the AG – ASAP! About time.
But was this true? The only way to find out was to GO to the emergency meeting. So off went the key members of the WCNHT and THE GLOBE REPORTER (you can’t make this stuff up).
The Selectmen shuffled into the two car garage sized town hall, along with a few local pals who must have been tipped with a phone call. You might call it “immoral moral support.”
Our guys were there – with a video camera and reporter for this unpublished, except for a note on the door emergency meeting. You would think they expected no one would find out. Imagine their surprise when they asked the young lady whom they have never met what she was doing at their emergency! She tells them she works for the Globe!
Now for the rest of this story I should really sell tickets.
Apparently the Windsor Village Idiot was at this emergency meeting Friday. Remember him? He was the one quoted in the Union Leader, Tuesday last week, front page, above the fold, saying this is how we do business in Windsor, meaning, we use the tax system and our majority vote to take advantage our neighbors. And there was the usual blather about how long his relatives have lived in the area. Fine, I get that all the time. But we surmise the AG has waited long enough for Windsor to get off the tax crapper and this comment may have been a catalyst for some long awaited state action.
Here is the exciting part of our adventure.
Our story trails off with Mr. Idiot telling the reporter he wants an interview.
Now all we do is wait for that to happen. (with big smiles of course)
We also wait to see if the State of New Hampshire Department of Revenue will actually do something about a town that refuses to keep tax records for at least ten, probably twenty years. They could order an audit.
We wait for the AG to sit some of these Bozo’s down and get a statement as to what is going on, where all the money collected went, and how much is not collected.
And we wait for the Globe photographer to come get the pictures they want for the Windsor story.