To The Daily Sun:
The power struggle continues between the commissioners and the Belknap County Convention. On Friday, Mr. Philpot (commissioner for Sanbornton, New Hampton, Laconia) defended the work of the commission for budgeting responsibly without tax increases. This is flagrantly inaccurate.
The budget process: appropriations less projected revenues (including draw down on the fund balance) equals taxes to be Raised. The commissioners presented their Proposed FY 13 Budget to the Convention with a NINE percent increase in taxes to be raised!
Mr. Philpot, you can state now whatever you want but that doesn't change what you handed over to the convention — and I am sure every one of the 18 state reps remembers — that NINE percent increase in taxes to be raised.
When State Rep. Frank Tilton from Laconia, which has a tax cap, questioned you on why you significantly reduced the use of the fund balance for FY 13, your answer was "we can increase it by a million dollars. We can have that discussion."
It was your responsibility to hand over a proposed budget that could be reviewed and approved by the convention, not one that could be discussed. This wasn't a collective bargaining agreement. Had you applied better judgment on that proposed budget submission, the taxes to be raised would have been minimal and the budget probably would have sailed through the process to completion.
Many of the state representatives were newly elected and were facing a NINE percent increase in taxes as the first decision they had to make. It's easy to see the resistance that you encountered. You created the rift, not the "bad people" you spoke of on last week.