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Goffstown News: October 25, 2012

Thank you for raising my taxes

OK, so I got your attention with that title. It is, of course, intended to be tongue in cheek.

Since mankind first emerged from a cave, any advances we have made have been done when we worked cooperatively. As a society, taxes raised to pay for shared costs are a big part of that. But nobody looks forward to paying them, certainly not to the point that they would say "thank you" for raising them.

So who am I derisively thanking for raising my taxes? The current Republican controlled Legislature, of course. They will tell you until the cows come home that they brought fiscal responsibility to state government, but that is not really true. The truth is that they have balanced the budget in Concord in large part by down-shifting costs (in other words, tax burden) to cities and towns. The budget crafted the last two years reduced state funding for education, public pensions and infrastructure. All these costs must now either be left wanting or borne by local taxpayers.

The problem with that lies in the way we collect taxes in our state. Assessing taxes based solely on the value of property places an unfair share of the tax burden on the middle (and especially) lower income brackets. So what they really have done is to slough taxes off on those least able to pay. This will force cities and towns to either raise property taxes or cut funding drastically, often on very important matters.

With their attacks on public and private sector unions, Republicans spent a lot of time and energy trying to take away the rights of middle class workers, claiming that it would help business in the state. But, as Gov. Lynch (the most popular governor in the history of our state) has stated many times, when businesses approach him about locating in New Hampshire, they don't ask whether we are a right-to-work state. Instead, they want to know about our infrastructure, and whether or not our students are receiving the education necessary to make them a reliable work force.

Thanks to their actions, Republicans have simultaneously raised our taxes and crippled the economic future of our state. If we fail to provide our youth with a quality education, we jeopardize the ability of our state to attract business in the future. In truth, their actions are part of a highly partisan agenda that is a sharp departure from a long tradition in our state government of bipartisanship and cooperation. If you want to know more about their intentions, I strongly recommend, Before you vote thsi November, that you take a good hard look at the intentions of the Free State Movement. Some of their members are running for office right here in our town.

On the other hand, if you want representatives willing to work in a bipartisan spirit, that won't neglect our future, and don't simply shift the tax burden to those least able to afford it, I suggest you consider voting for Reta M. MacGregor, Aaron Gill, Ruth Gage, Ben Hampton, Tim McKernan, and Bill Zackeroff for state representative.

David Greiner - Goffstown