To The Daily Sun,
Sanbornton residents concerned about taxes need to attend the public hearing on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. in the town offices to discuss the proposed fees for safety inspections.
The estimated revenue from the proposed fees is a modest $6 to $8,000, but it's still a tax increase and something that should be presented in a warrant article at Town Meeting rather than discussed in what is usually a poorly attended public hearing. The Board of Selectmen should be sensitive to how residents perceive fee increases especially after the brouhaha created last year when they suggested charging for items taken from the dump's metal pile.
This request for fees raises a number of questions. For example, why are the fees even necessary? Sanbornton has the second highest town tax in Belknap County, what are we getting for our money? It certainly isn't well maintained roads.
Also the proposed fees seem to hit taxpayers twice. First we pay the salaries of inspection personnel through our town tax, and pay again when we or our contractor pays the fee.
Proposed fee revenue is slated to go to the Fire Department Special Revenue Fund. However, this fund, at the end of this budget year, will have a balance of approximately $270,000. Further there will be $265,000 and $85,000 in capital reserve for a new fire truck and fire truck refurbishment respectfully. A total of $620,000 set aside for the Fire Department while the total amount in capital reserve for the DPW department is only $559.01 for heavy equipment. Clearly any fee revenue for inspections should go somewhere other than the Fire Department.
Agree or disagree at the hearing.
- Category: Letters
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