CONCORD, NH–House Speaker Shawn Jasper and leaders of the House Finance Committee announced Tuesday details of two initiatives to be included in the House version of the state budget bills that will focus on returning money back to cities and towns. In addition to existing programs directing funds to municipalities for education funding, meals and rooms tax revenue distribution, and road betterment funds, these House budget provisions propose to increase state aid.
$25 million per year in direct aid to cities and towns to assist with property tax relief
Up to $50 million from FY 2017 will be set aside to assist municipalities with infrastructure improvements, which may include roads, bridges, schools and other core projects essential to communities.
“We are committed to increasing aid to cities and towns in an effort to provide some relief to property taxpayers. With an aging population, we need to protect our seniors’ ability to stay in their homes,” said House Speaker Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson), “We also need to keep home ownership affordable for the workers and young families we need to retain in our state in order to sustain our economy. These programs will offset costs that our municipalities incur, and we hope they are the driving force in local decisions to ease the burden on local property taxpayers.”
“I would imagine we’ll be learning more as the days go on,” Claremont Representative Francis Gauthier told the e-Ticker News. “This is a new announcement. Basically, we’ll have to wait to see the written reports from the Finance Committee to know where they plan to get the money. Also, HB 413 has been retained in committee. It’ll be interesting to see how that progresses. Their reason for retaining the bill was to see how the collections of revenue progress. They’re expecting a higher revenue stream this year. If both of the aforementioned initiatives go through, that could be a significant windfall for Claremont.”
Gauthier added, “By lowering the business tax, they’re expecting a jump in business in New Hampshire, which will produce a higher revenue stream. The announcement of $25 million to the cities and towns is hopefully just a beginning. As your citizen legislator, I’ll be looking for further opportunities to get more revenue for Claremont in the future so we can continue to make progress in lowering our property taxes. By lowering the property taxes, we should be able to see a jump in property assessments so Claremont properties will be worth more, thus lowering the tax rate.”
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