10 MORE TOWNS TO VOTE LATER THIS SPRING
CONCORD, March 17, 2008 – The Granite State Fair Tax Coalition announced today the Fair Tax Resolution has been voted on so far in 96 communities around the state and that a vast majority of these towns want state lawmakers to lower property taxes by finding other revenue sources.
Towns that passed the Fair Tax Resolution will forward the resolution to their state representatives, senator and the governor. The non-binding resolution asks state lawmakers to stop taking pledges and instead, work on ways to find a more fair system of taxation in NH.
Fifty-three towns have so far passed the resolution this March, joining the 14 other communities that passed it in 2007 for a total of 67 localities in favor.
The resolution failed in 23 towns this year, and in one last year for a total of 24 localities opposed. Four more towns chose not to debate the resolution this year after citizens petitioned to place it on the warrant. Ten more towns will vote on this resolution sometime between tomorrow and late May.
“This question has now gone before at least 31,000 voters, living in almost half of NH’s towns, which is a pretty sizable polling sample,” said Paul Henle, executive director of the Granite State Fair Tax Coalition. “A full 73 percent of those towns have said the property tax is no longer fair or manageable and are now holding state lawmakers accountable for finding other ways to pay for services,” he said.
This year’s vote is particularly significant because 24 SB2 towns have taken up the resolution, and 20 passed it, in many cases by large margins – towns like Alstead, Charlestown, Exeter and Goffstown all voted in favor by at least a 2-1 margin. “That’s a sizable portion of the state’s most active, engaged voters who also tend to show up for November elections and influence votes in their communities,” Henle said. Smaller towns that voted this year to dump the pledge include Brookline, Hopkinton, Madbury, Orford and Plymouth.
While the Coalition does not lobby on specific legislation nor does it support or oppose candidates for office, the results of this statewide poll, it says, are ignored at candidates’ peril.
“It may take a little while for the pendulum to swing to the point that taking the pledge becomes a campaign liability, but a large majority of voters so far are starting to see through the rhetoric every time they open their property tax bill.”
An updated list of towns voting on the Fair Tax Resolution is available at the Granite State Fair Tax Coalition’s website at 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.
Granite State Fair Tax Coalition