To The Daily Sun,
Some Bristol officials like to tell voters the Bristol tax bill can't get any lower since the total tax rate in Bristol is in the lower third for New Hampshire communities. They brush off your concerns and struggles to pay your tax bill as if they are not valid or worthy of their consideration. In reality, the municipal tax rate, the only tax rate the Selectboard is directly charged with managing, is near the 75th percentile of the most expensive tax rates in New Hampshire.
With Morrison, and Sellers on the Selectboard, I believe we can focus on addressing the following taxpayer concerns.
— Stop overestimating funding when building a budget.
— Stop the unnecessary encumbrance of funds when a cost saving can be found in the budget.
— Tackle the $1 million unreserved fund balance.
— Slow down the growth in long-term debt.
The department head is only charged with making the bottom line balance out. Transfers from underspent lines to overspent line items to achieve that balance.
Instead of handing this money over to you, the taxpayers, the town ends up encumbering the money to try and spend it elsewhere.
This fund has been represented to the residents as a large unappropriated contingency fund.
The truth is, this money got there by over taxation during the greatest recession in the past 75 years. We can't go back in time and correct that wrong, but we need a board that will give this money back to the taxpayers.
The past few years we have watched million-dollar project after million-dollar project get pushed through the town warrant.
The result of which has grown our long term debt from less than $100,000 to greater than $3 million.
— Bristol should be improving its infrastructure, but a little more planning and thought needs to be taken into account.
— We need to have a more open government.
The philosophy of taxation without planning almost resulted in the town owning a very impractical and expensive boat shop.
This means changing the way we conduct non-public sessions and how we communicate information to the public.
We are lucky to have recruited an excellent town administrator (Nik Coates) and I believe Nik will be instrumental in helping improve the way Bristol shares information to the public, and all town officials.
This is only a sliver of the work that needs to be done in Bristol, but the first step requires voting March 8 for J.P. Morrison and John Sellers for the Selectboard.
- Category: Letters
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