I was reading an article in today’s Caledonian Record Newspaper that made me think what I’d consider to be a selfish thought. I said to myself “I’m glad I don’t own any real estate in the town of Littleton.”
Because guess what property owners.
Get ready for higher property taxes.
The first part is bad. The second part is really bad. The economy in New Hampshire isn’t the greatest right now and like every other municipality in New Hampshire Littleton faces higher costs and less revenue. So it doesn’t take much analysis to see that the tax rate unfortunately has to go up. In the case of Littleton it’s turning out to be an increase of $1.00 per $1,000.00 of property valuation. No property owner likes a tax increase. Littleton is talking about furloughing 10% of the municipal workforce and the article stated that the numbers from the schools still hadn’t come in. I’m confident that when it’s all said and done there won’t be a $1.00 increase in valuation. A few local employees will be furloughed, accept early retirement, and the schools will cut somewhere. And the property tax rate will come down to about a .30 cent increase. A number that I think is just below the threshold of pain and “I’ve had enough.” "I can't take it anymore!"
I think towns across New Hampshire do this. All politics is local.
And then in about the third or fourth paragraph in the Caledonian article the bombshell hits. Ka- Boom !!!!
“The town is awaiting judgment on the three-year-old tax abatement lawsuit with TransCanada Hydro Northeast Inc., which owns Moore hydroelectric station. In 2006, TransCanada filed a petition for appeal of abatement taxes assessed in Littleton. Though the town has $2 million in overlay to cover any money it might have to pay, the amount disputed is nearly $7 million, Ward said.
Using the worst-case scenario, the town might have to pay $4.882 million, excluding interest, he said. The amount paid would need to be bonded.
"Interest is another $500,000 to $700,000," Ward said. He said the Moore Dam suit could result in a $2 tax rate increase.”
Could result in a $2.00 tax increase? This is an interesting statement from Rep. Brian Ward. It should be interesting to see how Littleton will be able to bond over five million dollars, plus all the fees to pay this judgment and still keep the tax rate to the stated $2.00; I don’t think they can do it. I’ll put the number closer to $3.25 plus the loss of tax revenue going forward.
Can anyone say: settlement?
It may be too late for this anyways. Even if this is a viable strategy. I understand TransCanada is doing the same thing over in Vermont, and to this point has been successful in challenging the property tax valuation for underwater property in the Connecticut River in places like Waterford and Barnet.
TransCanada will make millions of dollars in revenue from the dams on the Connecticut River and New Hampshire and Vermont communities will get….
P.S. As if the bad news can't get bad enough, if the Grafton County Jail Bond goes through, a move supported by Executive Councilor and County Commissioner Ray Burton.
Guess what taxpayers
Add some more money onto your local tax rate. But at least they'll be a shiny new jail on the banks of the Connecticut River.