MANCHESTER -- The Manchester Republican Committee today congratulated the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition on filing the petitions necessary to place a question before the voters limiting the city's spending increases to no more than the rate of inflation. "This is a huge accomplishment for the staff and volunteers of the NHAC, and Manchester will be better for it when this ballot question passes in November," said Will Infantine, chair of the MRC.
And there is very little question that it will pass. Every spending cap question that has ever appeared on the ballot in any city or town in New Hampshire has passed overwhelmingly. Once the voters approve the question in November, Manchester will join Laconia, Nashua, and Franklin in capping the rate of growth in their city's budgets. The NHAC is also working to place spending cap questions on the ballots in Concord and Portsmouth, and has already filed the petitions necessary for caps in Somersworth and Rochester.
"This will save the taxpayers of Manchester untold millions of dollars over time. We wholeheartedly endorse this spending cap, and we're sure the voters will endorse it as well" said Keith Murphy, vice-chair of the MRC, "Honestly, while the question looks complicated because of the legal requirements, it's a no-brainer. The question might as well be: 'Would you like to reduce your property taxes for the rest of your life?'"
Manchester's budget increased 25.61% from 2005 to 2008, including a jump of 18.59% in former Mayor Bob Baines' final budget in 2005. If this spending cap had been in place prior to the 2004 budget cycle, Manchester taxpayers would be about $16 million richer. It would require the vote of ten aldermen to override the spending cap and increase the budget more than the rate of the consumer price index. That override provision still allows the budget the flexibility necessary to fund essential services such as public safety.
In accomplishing this most basic exercise in local democracy, the NHAC was assisted in the huge task of gathering petitions by volunteers of every political party. Likewise, although fiscal conservatives are generally Republicans, the spending cap petition was signed by over a thousand registered Democrats as well. In this spirit of bipartisanship, the MRC invited its counterpart, the Manchester City Democrats, to join in endorsing this commonsense spending cap. "I would hope that regardless of party, we could all get behind protecting the taxpayers from unreasonable tax increases by supporting this commonsense cap," said Infantine, "Nearly all of our candidates have signed the NHAC pledge not to vote for a budget that exceeds inflation. I hope our Democrat friends will sign this non-partisan pledge as well."
Republicans support lower taxes, less regulations, personal liberty, and more efficient government. For more information about the Manchester Republican Committee, please visit www.manchestergop.com or call 879-0022