As if his campaign for mayor of Manchester were not pathetic enough, Chris Herbert kicked it up a notch earlier this week when, in a debate with incumbent Ted Gatsas, he suggested that the city opt for a "progressive" property tax. In other words, all property would not be taxed equally. The more your property is valued at, the greater percentage you would pay.
Apparently Herbert is trying to copy Obama and open a class warfare front here in Manchester, but we really don't need to get into an argument about whether or not it's a good idea--clearly, it's not--because Herbert's proposal is clearly unconstitutional. One would think that someone who has spent as many years on the School Board as Herbert has would have some passing familiarity with the Constitution, but apparently he's clueless.
When I heard this idea, I immediately knew it was not lawful, but it took a while to find the exact citation.
Part second, article five is very lengthy, but it reads in part that the legislature is empowered "to impose and levy proportional and reasonabe assessments, rates, and taxes upon all the inhabitants of and residents within the said state and upon all estates."
Note the word proportional. This was long ago litigated and determined to mean that graduated taxes such as a graduated income tax would be unconstitutional. Clearly, the reference to estates would mean that property taxes must alslo be reasonable (an arguable word if ever there was one) and proportional (there's not much room for argument there).
Mayor candidate Herbert's ignorance should astound voters of the city, and this faux pas makes me rethink my over/under number. I had earmarked it at 65/35, but now it appears Herbert will be lucky to hit 35 percent. Let's lower it to 67/33. After all, turnout is highest in Ward 1 where properties are worth more on average, where if Herbert could somehow have his way, taxes would skyrocket.
It'll be interesting to see just how low Herbert sinks in Ward 1 in particular.
City Clerk Matt Normand is predicting a low turnout of about 17,000 people as opposed to the 18,500 two years ago. That could be the sole salvation for Herbert as he struggles to hit the 35 percent mark. You know that city employees and those who feed at the government trough will always get out to vote, so the lower the turnout, the better for Herbert and big spending Democrats.
Wouldn't it be fun if thousands of people sent Herbert a copy of part second, article five of the state constitution, but then, he's probably best simply ignored.
I'm into my second campaign flyer for the final weekend in my campaign for ward 8 alderman. I'm using the article I posted here on revalution back in August. One woman in Trolley Crossing responded yesterday, "You always have such useful information, Steve."
A man next to me at the bank on Brown Ave today asked if I'm running. Yes, I told him that I probably be knocking on his door tomorrow. "Don't bother," he said, "you've got my vote."
As Mayor Gatsas told a group of supporters last night, you should always run like you're five votes behind.
Amen although my guess is that the mayor is five thousand votes ahead...at least.