Who cares for now. We found one with $360,000.00 in it. That will do for now.
Greedy environmentalistas have a problem on their hands in Amherst!
Amherst adopted RSA 79-A:25- a few years ago to keep as much of the current use change penalty in the hands of the Amherst Conservation Commission and not under any threat from taxpayers wanting the penalty put back in the general fund to offset taxes – as was the INTENT of the Land Use Change Penalty when Current Use was adopted as a means to keep farmers from being driven out of town by school spenders.
Bad ideas always have the best intentions.
I trimmed the Land Use Change Tax statute for easy reading.
Apparently, someone should have done that for the Amherst Selectmen 8 years ago when they started ignoring the part I printed in bold italics.
79-A:25-b Procedure for Adoption. –
I. Any town may adopt the provisions of RSA 79-A:25-a to account for all revenues received pursuant to this chapter in a land use change tax fund separate from the general fund in the following manner:
(c) The wording of the question shall be: "Shall we adopt the provisions of RSA 79-A:25-a to account for revenues received from the land use change tax in a fund separate from the general fund? Any surplus remaining in the land use change tax fund shall not be part of the general fund until such time as the legislative body shall have had the opportunity at an annual meeting to vote to appropriate a specific amount from the land use change tax fund for any purpose not prohibited by the laws or by the constitution of this state. After an annual meeting any unappropriated balance of the land use change tax revenue received during the prior fiscal year shall be recognized as general fund revenue for the current fiscal year.''
Now the Amherst Selectmen have an eight year old $360,000.00 dollar slush fund on their hands and the public knows about it since it was revealed at the 2011 Deliberative Session.
The eco-Luddites will bleed form their eyes if this larder is turned into the dreaded General Fund to offset taxes!
Amherst has a pretty active taxpayer organization and it has been successful in the last few years.
This is a big no-harm to anyone way to cut the tax bills of people hurting in a bad economy, while at the same glorious time, teaching the DRA, Amherst Selectmen, Amherst Town Office, the town auditors, and the greenies a lesson.
The Amherst powers that be have some re-interpreting of the law to do to convince most people that they should still have this slush fund.
Next year there should be a citizens petition to eliminate the adoption of this statute.
Here is why:
Conservation Commissions all over this state are suddenly asking to have unaccountable third party land trusts take over land purchased by or owned by municipalities.
This is a bad idea if you like local control. And the ramifications of private non-profits taking over huge portions of public land will be an eye-opener in the future when taxpayers find out they have no control over their town.