VOTERS URGE STATE LAWMAKERS TO ADDRESS RISING PROPERTY TAXES WITH ALTERNATIVE REVENUES
CONCORD, March 12, 2008 – Momentum for passage of the Fair Tax Resolution increased dramatically yesterday as voters in at least 31 New Hampshire towns passed the resolution on local ballots yesterday.
The Fair Tax Resolution – on the warrant in 88 NH towns this spring and passed in an additional 14 communities in 2007-- is a non-binding statement that sends a clear message to lawmakers in Concord: voters want them to consider alternative revenue sources as a means to reduce unfair property taxes.
“If this pattern continues at town meetings statewide this week, the stake will be firmly planted for tax reform in the Granite State,” said Paul Henle, executive director of the Granite State Fair Tax Coalition, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization working at the grassroots level to educate voters on the causes and effects of over reliance on the property tax. “The 31 towns that voted Tuesday for the Fair Tax Resolution are diverse geographically, politically and economically, and when you add these to the 14 communities that passed this last year, we’re starting to see a grassroots groundswell of support for change from every corner of the state,” he said.
Those corners include the town of Orford, the hometown of former NH Governor Meldrim Thomson, who elevated the Pledge to a near-mandate for statewide candidates for office. After an initial motion at the Orford meeting to remove the article from consideration failed, voters there ultimately passed the Resolution on a vote of 46-33.
The Resolution won handily in many SB2 towns, where thousands of voters evaluated the question. In Goffstown, the vote margin was 2-1 in favor < of the Resolution; in Durham, it passed 888 - 181.
“Passage of the Resolution in towns like these and by these margins will make it very tough to hide behind empty rhetoric come election time,” Henle said. “The conversations we have enabled, at forums, at town meetings and at the polls, has empowered the citizens of this state to advocate for change.”
For a complete list of towns with the article on their warrants with the latest results, go to the Granite State Fair Tax Coalition’s website: www.nhfairtax.org
THE FAIR TAX RESOLUTION READS: Resolved: We the citizens of this town 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.
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.