I stopped by the NH Dept of Revenue yesterday to look at the correspondence file for the Town of Newmarket.
I have been reviewing DRA files since former Commissioner Phil Blatsos told his underlings back in about 2004 to let Mr. Naile see files when he comes in.
In one fell swoop I can see from reviewing some documents, what is behind some perceived or real problems taxpayers in any given town may come across, such as the DRA recently making a simple math mistake on Newmarket's tax rate. No big deal.
Yesterday I was told that I could no longer see any complete file. I now have to submit a written request and have to ask for exactly what I want to see. In essence, I must participate in a fishing expedition.
Too bad. Things could have gone so smoothly as before this new "change."
Now I have a suspicion there is something the DRA does not want me to see and they fail to understand that I may have the other side of some DRA inter-office correspondence.
This means if I ask the DRA for any information regarding a specific issue or letter they will never know if I have the town's side of the correspondence in my possession. Should they deny me the document related to the one I have they look foolish or like liars with public documents to hide.
Is this the best use of the DRA's time - to screw around with taxpayers over documents which are clearly public in nature?
I understand that the Town of Windsor's files are under currently under criminal seal because the DRA never let out a peep regarding the Windsor "Friends and Family Program" where certain property owners did not have to pay property taxes for ten years or more. But I was only asking to see Newmarket's file jacket.
How scarey is that?