Choice would force public schools to pay taxes or
take money from poor people?
This morning lobbyists from the New Hampshire Municipal Association testified against a bill that would have provided property tax relief to public charter schools and sent that money back to the teachers and students where it belongs. The bipartisan bill sponsored by a democrat and a republican passed the house with huge majorities.
During testimony (audio file here), a lobbyist representing the NHMA produced an amendment to HB662 and suggested that instead of having municipalities refund property taxes to these public schools that charter schools should be eligible to take money from a program designed to assist low income families.
BACKGROUND ON THIS ISSUE
PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS
New Hampshire RSA 72:23 offers property tax exemptions for certain entities in New Hampshire including public schools & charitable organizations that own their own buildings/land.
1. NH public charter schools do not receive building or construction aid to purchase their own facility.
2. New Hampshire state law RSA 194-b:5 prohibits public charter schools from incurring long-term debt until they have been in operation for more than five years.
Many public charter schools are forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars in property taxes that they should not.
HOW TO FIX THIS
HB662 would modify RSA 72:23 granting New Hampshire public charter schools that lease facility space from an entity that is not tax exempt, a reimbursement for the amount they paid.
It is a common sense bill, a no brainer, at least until the lobbyists arrive.