'Half of something, rather than all of nothing'

Laconia City Council moves forward with plans for tax break for new businesses

By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Industrial businesses that want to locate or expand in the city would get a property tax break under a plan approved Monday by city councilors.

The idea is to attract and encourage the kind of companies that can provide good-paying jobs and boost the local economy.

City Manager Scott Myers had urged the City Council to consider offering this incentive after the New Hampshire Legislature approved RSA 72:82, which allows municipalities to provide a property tax exemption on commercial and industrial assessments for new construction, additions, renovations or improvements to existing structures.

On Monday, the council told Myers to begin the process of drawing up language and scheduling a public hearing to provide the exemption for five years and only for industrial companies.

Councilors opted for focusing on companies with the greatest likelihood of providing good-paying jobs. If they were to include commercial companies, it would have applied to a broad range of businesses, including very small ones.

”If you included all commercial companies, it would apply to everything from a four-star hotel to a convenience store that wanted to add 500 square feet of storage space,” Myers said.  

The exemption could reduce by half municipal and local school property taxes assessed by the municipality.

For example, if a company wants to build a $1 million plant in Laconia, under current rules, it would have to pay municipal and local school property taxes of about $18 per $1,000 of assessed value, or $18,000 per year.

Under the tax break, this would drop to $9,000 per year.

Myers said the city could miss out on some tax revenue, but on the other hand, this incentive might attract a company that otherwise might not come here in the first place.

“You are getting part of something instead of a whole lot of nothing,” he said.

He also said that future city councils would always have the right to adjust the tax break, if needed, with the understanding that companies already receiving the incentive would be “grandfathered in” and still receive it for the full five years.

  • Written by Rick Green
  • Category: Local News
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$10,000 grant would preserve old city records

By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Births, deaths and other public records dating back to 1855 will be preserved under a $10,000 grant being offered to the city.

The City Council on Monday night began the acceptance process, which requires a later public hearing.  

The grant comes from revenues generated by the state’s Moose license plate.

The grant is for the conservation and protection of Town Records Vol. 1, 1855-1875, Town Records Vol. 2, 1876-1893, City Council Minutes Vol. 1, 1893-1897, and City Council Minutes Vol. 2, 1897-1903.

Myers said the records are kept in a vault in the city clerk’s office.

Myers said a company specializing in this work will clean the documents and put them in plastic sleeves.

“They are in pretty good shape, considering their age,” he said. “They don’t come out every day.

“They are used by people doing research, including birth and death records.”

  • Written by Rick Green
  • Category: Local News
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New Hampton man convicted for child pornography and cyberstalking

CONCORD — Brandon Gray, 22, of New Hampton, was sentenced in federal court on Monday to 70 months in prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release for possession of child pornography and cyberstalking, Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley of the District of New Hampshire announced today.

According to court documents and statements made in court, the defendant created a fake online identity pretending to be a teen pop star, and met a 14-year-old child on the Internet. From 2014 to 2016, the child took various sexually explicit pictures and videos of himself and sent them to the defendant. Eventually, the child discovered that the online persona was fake and attempted to stop communicating with the defendant. The defendant responded by sending him harassing texts, emails and chats over various social media outlets including messages threatening to post pornographic images of the child online. A search warrant was executed at the defendant’s residence and he was found to be in possession of various images and videos constituting child pornography. The defendant admitted to using the alias, to possessing sexually explicit images of the minor victim, and to threatening to post them online.

“Keeping the Internet safe for children is one of the highest priorities of my office,” said Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley. “I commend the collaboration between the Louisiana State Police and Homeland Security Investigations personnel in New Hampshire in locating and bringing this individual to justice. Cyber predators cannot hide behind a computer screen. When their actions cause real harm, there will be real consequences.”

This matter was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, Manchester, the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Louisiana State Police. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Georgiana L. Konesky.

In February 2006, the Department of Justice introduced Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

  • Written by Ginger Kozlowski
  • Category: Local News
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