Resolution Urges State Leaders to Reject the “Pledge,” Find Alternatives to Higher Property Taxes
Concord, Feb. 18, 2008 -- Voters in 89 New Hampshire towns will vote on resolutions over the coming month urging state elected officials – the governor, state senators and state representatives -- to create a fairer tax system for the state, starting with a discussion of all the available options, the Granite State Fair Tax Coalition announced today.
These resolutions will be considered at Town Meetings throughout the month ahead or at the ballot box on March 11. Towns that include the Fair Tax Resolution on the warrant in 2008 are listed at the Coalition’s website, www.nhfairtax.org.
The Fair Tax Resolution was passed by 13 additional towns and the City of Somersworth in2007. By the end of next month, more than 100 towns in NH will have had a public discussion about fair taxation.
The resolution to be voted on by these additional 89 towns reads:
Resolved: We the citizens of (town name), NH believe in a New Hampshire that is just and fair. The property tax has become unjust and unfair. State leaders who take a pledge for no new taxes perpetuate higher and higher property taxes. We call on our State Representatives, our State Senator and our Governor to reject the “Pledge,” have an open discussion covering all options, and adopt a revenue system that lowers property taxes.
“This effort will send a strong message from the people of NH to state leaders, asking them to find a solution to ever-increasing property taxes by considering alternative revenue sources,” said Paul Henle, executive director of the Coalition. “Ultimately, the people are asking state officials to recognize the unfair property tax as a problem and reject the concept known as ‘the Pledge,’ which ties the hands of state lawmakers, preventing any effort to bring a fairer tax system to New Hampshire.”
In 2006, property taxes accounted for over60% of all revenues raised by towns, counties, and the state – by far the highest in the nation. On average nationwide, states rely on property taxes for only about 30% of their revenue.
The Coalition does not advocate for or against any particular alternative to the overused property tax. Its goals are encouraging an open and informed discussion of the state’s tax system and its reliance on the property tax. Grassroots efforts such as placing the Fair Tax Resolution on local warrants and holding public forums in many towns and cities around the state allow for this public discussion.
ABOUT THE GRANITE STATE FAIR TAX COALITION: Launched in December 2006, the Coalition is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational organization comprised of partners that include the League of Women Voters NH, the NH Council of Churches, and other organizations and individuals working to educate NH residents on the causes and effects of rising property taxes. More information about the New Hampshire Fair Tax Coalition – including a 25-minute video on the history of tax fairness in New Hampshire– can be found at the Coalition’s website, www.nhfairtax.org.
State and local property taxes accounted for more than 60% of all revenue raised in New Hampshire in 2006. Since 1999, property taxes have risen an average of 7.5% a year, according to data from the NH Dept. of Revenue Administration.