New Hampshire Underground

Regional Discussion => Seacoast => Topic started by: smiley on May 14, 2012, 05:50 PM NHFT

Title: Support Dover's Tax Cap this Wednesday Evening
Post by: smiley on May 14, 2012, 05:50 PM NHFT
WHAT: Support Dover's Tax Cap!
WHEN: Wednesday evening, May 16, 2012, appx. 5:45 - 7:00 P.M.
WHERE: McConnell Center, Locust St. in Dover, NH

The City of Dover has a tax cap provision in its city charter.  The Dover City Council is currently discussing its budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and is CONSIDERING OVERRIDING the tax cap.  (That kind a defeats the whole purpose!)

We need people to come, show support for Dover's tax cap, hold signs, etc. from about 5:45 - 7:00 P.M. this Wednesday evening, at the McConnell Center on Locust St. (directly between the library and the courthouse).  Citizens who live in Dover, or own a business or property in Dover, are also welcome to speak at the podium in support of a tax-cap- budget if the fancy fits.  (You DO NOT have to live or own property in Dover to stand and hold a sign, though.)

The City Council's Workshop Session officially runs from 6:00 P.M. through about 7:30 P.M., Wednesday, May 16, 2012.  Opportunities to speak to the council include the "Citizens Forum" which will be held towards the end of the Workshop Session.  In addition, there will be a "Public Hearing" at which residents and property/business owners may speak about issues pertaining specifically to the school department's part of the budget.  That Public Hearing will be part of a Special Meeting which begins at 7:30 P.M., following the Workshop Session.

Detailed agendas and background material can be found on the City of Dover's web site: (
Title: Re: Support Dover's Tax Cap this Wednesday Evening
Post by: Free libertarian on May 15, 2012, 10:15 AM NHFT
I know people that grew up in Dover and left years ago...taxes too high THEN.
Title: Re: Support Dover's Tax Cap this Wednesday Evening
Post by: WithoutAPaddle on May 15, 2012, 10:49 AM NHFT
Dover has had lots of projects that involved discretionary expenditures, though I don't know how much came out of the city coffers versus how much came from federal or state funds.  I see they now have a children's museum in the old Clarostat building, and they seem to have spent a lot of money for no public benefit when they reinstalled that bridge to almost nowhere.

The city pays a lot of attention to developing its "waterfront".  I grew up just a few blocks from the Cocheco River but never saw it as any more than a sewer.  These projects that make the front page of Foster's Daily Democrat,  involving dredging the river, facilitating the building of waterfront condominiums and the like, probably cost the city more in consulting fees than in actual expenditures.
Title: Re: Support Dover's Tax Cap this Wednesday Evening
Post by: WithoutAPaddle on May 17, 2012, 09:20 AM NHFT
Residents rally against cutting Dover school budget to meet tax cap: Small group counters message, urging fiscal restraint  (

Thursday, May 17, 2012

John Huff/Staff photographer Several hundred teachers, parents and students hold signs and shout slogans to support the schools at a rally in front of the McConnell Center in Dover Wednesday.

DOVER— Perhaps of most concern to those who took part in the Education Matters rally held before the City Council meeting Wednesday evening was the possibility those opposing an override to the city's tax cap are unwilling to help future generations enjoy the same quality education they themselves were afforded as children.

Holding signs and speaking one by one, community members filled a large portion of the McConnell Center lawn urging each other to take a stand for education in the Garrison City before the public hearing on the school portion of the city budget, scheduled before the regular City Council meeting.

The community action group Dover Matters helped to organize the Education Matters rally allowing residents, teachers, students and others to be heard on issues regarding the ongoing budget process and the potential negative effects on the School District.

While the city's portion of the budget meets tax cap restrictions, the school portion of the overall budget does not, coming in at $46.9 million and exceeding what is allowed per the tax cap by $870,000.

An amendment was narrowly passed at a council meeting last week to bring the overall budget in under the tax cap to an amount roughly $870,000 less than the budget originally proposed by City Manager Mike Joyal.

Should the council come to an impasse on the budget, Joyal's proposed budget would be passed.

The process is drawing mixed feedback from the community and drew a smaller rally of residents opposed to Education Matters and not in favor of overriding the tax cap. The disagreement over how to best spend taxpayer money has become frustrating for all involved.

"I am very disappointed in the fact that this is a tax cap issue," School Board Chairman Rocky D'Andrea said. For him, the issue has nothing to do with the tax cap, but rather where the city chooses to invest its money.

"It's a where the city spends its dollars issue," he said.

Longtime resident Pete Sorensen, who said he had three children go through the Dover School System, said he's been seeing budget cuts to education in the state over the last 20 years and says what Dover faces now is part of a larger "funding problem."

"Without education we're going to go downhill as a nation," he said.

His wife, Pat, is on the board of directors for Dover Adult Learning Center, whose programs were on an original list of items which, if cut, would help meet the tax cap budget. She said she feels the most important thing a community can do is educate its children and adults.

Her fear, like others who have spoken at School Board meetings over the last few months, is that once programs are cut to meet the budget, they won't return.

Sorensen said a sign held by someone at the rally echoing her own sentiment stated it best: "Education cuts don't heal."

"If we want this community to flourish and bring more people in, we need this school system to flourish," she said.

Representing the perspective of some local veterans, Don Medbery pointed out that there are plenty of teachers in the country working for less money and doing the same or more in the classroom. With no raise in his own cost of living, he does not feel it is his or his peers responsibility to fund the extra money for the school system.

"We went and did our thing for the country," he said.

He said that, of course he wants children in the community to be educated, but that "you can only stretch the rubber band so far."

Former Mayor William Boc said he was disappointed by the opposition to overriding the tax cap calling it unfortunate and short-sighted.

"It costs money. And it's the responsibility of each generation to step up to the plate like past generations have done," he said.

He believes the option to override the tax cap was put in place when the tax cap budget was adopted years ago. He said there is no more important reason to have to do so than education.

But it's not just the effect on academics that's worrisome to many. It's also the programs, such as like athletics, which are part of what draws students and families into the Dover community and school district, being threatened by cuts.

"There are times when some of the extra things make a difference," Debra Conroy, a paraprofessional for special education at Horne Street School and mother of four children who have gone through the school system in the city, said.

She also felt that it's up to each generation to step up and ensure the education of children in the community.

For others, such as resident and St. Mary Academy substitute teacher Randal Heller, giving more money to the School District doesn't make sense until students' scores improve.

"I love kids and I love teaching," he said naming a chalkboard and chalk as two of the only items a good teacher needs to teach.

The value of teachers themselves, however, was a top priority for the Education Matters demonstrators saying $870,000 in extra cuts would mean losing many of them and creating larger class sizes.

Simone Dubay, a 2010 graduate of Dover High School and who is hoping to teach in the district after college, also sees the budget issues as a threat to a potential job and coming back to the community she grew up in.

"It's awful. They need to fix it," she said. "Will they have an opening for me? I don't know."

Hundreds want their voice heard: Most urge Dover council to keep $46.9 school budget intact  (

DOVER — The line of those waiting to speak about the controversial budget proposed for Fiscal Year 2013 snaked in and out of the McConnell Center during Wednesday's public hearing...
Title: Re: Support Dover's Tax Cap this Wednesday Evening
Post by: Jim Johnson on May 17, 2012, 04:12 PM NHFT
What good is a tax cap going to do?  They'll just vote around it next time; the children or the elderly will need some sort of defense from some fearful thing.
Title: Re: Support Dover's Tax Cap this Wednesday Evening
Post by: WithoutAPaddle on June 30, 2014, 10:37 AM NHFT
Do you remember California's Howards Jarvis and his Proposition 13 attack on property taxes?  I had no reason to follow the aftermath of that, but recently a Californian told me that Jarvis was really in the hip pocket of the apartment owners, and by limiting the subsequent tax assessment value of the property to only small, incremental increases over its 1975(?) assessment or its purchase price, it meant that as long as an apartment owner sold his properties as part of corporations, they kept the low base, whereas homeowners did not have that tax dodge available and wound up paying a larger share of the taxes that they would have otherwise.
Title: Re: Support Dover's Tax Cap this Wednesday Evening
Post by: Jim Johnson on June 30, 2014, 11:15 AM NHFT
If a law doesn't benefit the people in power, it has no chance.

Title: Re: Support Dover's Tax Cap this Wednesday Evening
Post by: dalebert on June 30, 2014, 12:36 PM NHFT
The law really does sound great, even to libertarians, before you start to think about the ramifications. The idea was to limit how much your taxes could go up while you own your home. The instant you sell it, it gets reassessed at the full sale price. One of the side effects was it discouraged people moving into a new home because any such move represented a huge tax hike. That has a big impact on the availability of homes. People who lived in town for many years to be close to work would ordinarily move somewhere more rural with less traffic once they were retired but this made that far less likely. It wasn't a tax break at all so much as a reward for engaging in a certain behavior that wasn't good for housing economy. It was no shock that there was such a shortage of homes in California during the mortgage/housing bubble. Some of that was inevitable from the Fed's actions but this made it even worse.
Title: Re: Support Dover's Tax Cap this Wednesday Evening
Post by: MaineShark on June 30, 2014, 01:33 PM NHFT
In NH, assessments are (supposedly) updated yearly, not just at the time of sale, so that would not apply to a tax cap, here.
Title: Re: Support Dover's Tax Cap this Wednesday Evening
Post by: WithoutAPaddle on September 30, 2016, 01:41 PM NHFT
Dover recently had a groundbreaking for its new $87 million high school.  The old, "new" high school was opened in the fall of 1967, and very comfortably held 1,400 students that year.  A large and previously contemplated additional classroom section had subsequently been appended to the original structure, and the current enrollment is just a shade below 1,400, and since the baby boom will never be repeated, then by my projections, the existing school was large enough for another half century.

By the time I started following the story, the "train had left the station".  They had already narrowed the choices to three plans that cost within $3 million of each other, and presented them to the public in such a way that the only plausible one was to totally demolish a building that had another 50 to 100 years of useful life remaining.

The school is largely being paid for by a 25 year municipal bond, and I figured that annual amortization would have to be well over $4 million, and that was with me guessing that they sold the bonds at 2%, - which I don't know; it was just a round number I made up for ease of calculation - but it was reported/projected that the average taxed home would only pay another $60 a year.  Having no numbers immediately available to me other than Dover's population of 29,000, might there be 10,000 or more taxable residential units in a city that size?  Probably, because "family" sizes are so small these days.  Still, 10,000 times $60 a year equals just $600,000, which is one seventh of my primitively estimated annualization of the total cost, so someone; state, Fed, business properties, must be paying six times that much.
Title: Re: Support Dover's Tax Cap this Wednesday Evening
Post by: Free libertarian on October 01, 2016, 09:22 AM NHFT
Property taxes are theft and an oxymoron.   There is no logical way around that if one choses to use words by their actual meanings and stop providing exemptions to the meanings for members or supporters of the gang that issues the bill. 

I believe the way to "reform" them (abolish them)  is for people to do one of those "I will if you will" sign up things like the Free State project did with the 20,000 movers and follow through. 

Objecting to property taxes alone or in small numbers simply means you'll get eaten and / or shouted down by the parasite class.  Larger numbers of people, (a few thousand perhaps to start) who resolve not to pay for things they as individuals do not want or use can be done while also maintaining the moral high ground.   After all the moral high ground DOES favor the peaceful voluntaryist free market approach.

Objecting in significant numbers, and being open and public about it and stating the reasons why is more likely to succeed than begging for a little less lash from massa.  Of course it might involve mutual aid folks showing up at a tax victims property in significant numbers etc.  The problem with this idea isn't whether it's valid or not, the problem is in getting people to hold the moral high ground while there is a literal gun in their face.  There will NEVER be a legislative solution to a moral problem, because...government can't fix a problem they are part of. 

I left Dover due to stupidly high taxes in the mid 1980s and never looked back.  Fuck Dover.  Okay, rant over.  Please carry on.
Title: Re: Support Dover's Tax Cap this Wednesday Evening
Post by: WithoutAPaddle on October 01, 2016, 09:42 AM NHFT
Property taxes are theft and an oxymoron.   There is no logical way around that if one choses to use words by their actual meanings and stop providing exemptions to the meanings for members or supporters of the gang that issues the bill. 

Like if a state or municipality can't "deficit spend" or "borrow money" and has to "balance its budget" every year, but they can somehow do that by "bonding" the deficit or expenditure.  For some reason, by someone's creative accounting practices, borrowing money from bond purchasers and paying them back in installments is somehow fundamentally different from taking out an installment loan and is therefore fiscally prudent and permissible.
Title: Re: Support Dover's Tax Cap this Wednesday Evening
Post by: Russell Kanning on October 03, 2016, 08:19 PM NHFT
putting up a fuss when they want to spend your money makes sense to me