TIFs subsidize big business at the expense of ordinary citizens

To The Daily Sun,

Nobody wants their real estate taxes to increase during this troubled economy. We can't afford the increase, families are stressed enough with the cost of groceries and gas.

Tax Increment Financing is the difference between the amount of property tax revenue generated before TIF district designation and the amount of Property Tax Revenue generated after the TIF designation.

Although politicians portray TIFs as a great way to boost the local economy, there are hidden costs they don't want taxpayers to know about. Cities/towns generally assume they are not really giving anything up because the forgone tax revenue would not have been available in the absence of the development established by the TIF. This conclusion is often wrong.

The down side, and the word that is not spoken, is the shift of taxes being paid from the wealthy corporations to small businesses and regular citizens. Cities/towns giving tax breaks to that, put people out of business. The higher the property taxes, the more tax revenue to pay off development bonds.

The rest of us pay taxes for normal services like public safety, building inspections, and street maintenance and those services come out of the general fund. And as the costs go up, and the money from the general fund is given to these businesses through a TIF, the tax burden gets shifted to the regular people who don't have the same political clout. It's a crummy way to treat your tax paying, law abiding citizens. TIFs now appear in affluent neighborhood's subsidizing high-end housing developments, big box retailers and shopping malls.

TIFs subsidized big business at the expense of less influential competitors and ordinary citizens. Roads, sewers, and schools are public costs that come from growth. Unless spending is cut — and if a TIF really does generate economic growth — spending will rise. The burden of paying for these services will be forwarded to taxpayers. TIFs take away small business monies and give to large corporations, with the end result being the demise of the small-business owner.

In Dover the city council is pushing TIFs, in Concord they now have an advisory committee, and in Laconia, Edward Engler, editor and president of The Laconia Daily Sun, who is the mayor, likes TIFs. What is happening in your town/city. What is happening in Meredith?

Rosemary Landry

  • Category: Letters
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Dessert auction on Sunday comes just in time for Thanksgiving

To The Daily Sun,

Need Thanksgiving desserts?

Please consider attending our second annual Dessert Auction this coming Sunday at the Beane Conference Center on Blueberry Lane, Laconia, from 3 to 5 p.m. Scores of beautiful desserts provided by local bakeries, restaurants and volunteer bakers will be offered via a live auction led by PK Zyla. Admission is a canned good or non-perishable food item. Refreshments will be served.

This is a critical fundraiser for Hands Across the Table which offers a free hot meal every Wednesday evening at the St. Andre Bessette Parish Hall on Gilford Avenue in Laconia. HATT's mission is "To feed all who are hungry in body and spirit. We do so willingly and with compassion and understanding."

For more information regarding Hands Across the Table, visit our Facebook page or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Debbie Frawley Drake


HATT Board & Auction Chair

  • Category: Letters
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The History of Belknap Mill outlines the history of Laconia

To The Daily Sun,

After the recent (Nov. 12) Sun article on the Belknap Mill being "up for sale," we need to understand the importance of the mill.

The building is a historic landmark Indeed, it's a national treasure. Its importance is often described as the oldest brick mill building in the U.S. Although this is true, I prefer to think of it as the oldest example of an integrated-mill. An integrated mill is a mill where raw cotton/wool enters the building and finished cloth goes out.

Prior to the integrated mill, the different steps in the cloth manufacturing process were handled in different factories, or parceled out to cottage industries, a system that required significant movement of materials. The first integrated mill was built by Francis Cabot Lowell circa 1815 in Waltham, Mass., with water power produced by the Charles River. Lowell proceeded to build two more integrated mills in Waltham before he ran out of water power from the Charles River. He then relocated to the area of the Merrimack River that is now the city of Lowell, Mass.

The Belknap Mill was built in 1823 and was modeled on Lowell's Waltham Mills, which have since been torn down. Thus the Belknap Mill, if not the oldest, is at least close-to-the-oldest example of the original integrated mill, not only in the U.S., but in the world, since the concept of an integrated mill originated in the U.S. with Francis Cabot Lowell.

The Belknap Mill is a very unique piece of history. It contains a collection of antique knitting machines. Through the efforts of volunteers, several of these machines can still produce products including shoestrings, stockings, and baby hats. Many of these knitting machines were made by the Scott & Williams Company here in Laconia. In addition to the 1823 mill building, the mill houses a hydroelectric powerhouse that is nearly in the same condition as when it was built in 1918. This power-house produced hydroelectric power up until 1960. It's doubtful that any similar facility exists in this pristine condition. This powerhouse, along with the Avery Dam, allows children in the fourth-grade program to understand energy and energy conversion as practiced in the early 1900s.

Each year since 1995, over 1000 fourth grade students from Belknap County, as well as surrounding cities, towns and states have enjoyed the history of the Belknap Mill's architectural features, manufacturing process, knitting machines and turbine power demonstration.

The mill houses over 10,000 archived artifacts related to the mill, the manufacturing industries in Laconia, and the culture of early Laconia. Included in this archive are over 100 audiotape interviews with mill workers made in the 1990s. Many of these mill workers have since passed-away. This archive was the main reference for Carol Anderson's excellent book "A History of the Belknap Mill" which is recommended reading to better understand the mill's role in the community.

The history of the mill outlines the history of Laconia. Laconia was born of the American Industrial Revolution due to its location near available water power, and Laconia and the Belknap Mill were shaped by that Revolution into what they are today. The Belknap Mill represents pride in that heritage and pride in Laconia, something to remember in the ongoing discussion.

Jon Pounds

Center Harbor

Member, Belknap Mill Society

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I look forward to serving with governor and fellow councilors

To The Daily Sun,

I want to thank my family, friends, supporters and voters who helped me get elected on Nov. 4 to the Executive Council. I look forward to working with the governor and my fellow councilors on the important New Hampshire issues. The Council meets every two weeks and votes on state contracts, state board and commissions and judicial appointment. If you need any assistance in State government please do not hesitate to call my office at 271-3632.

I will continue to work hard for you and look forward to serving the citizens of Executive Council District 1 for the next two years. The Council will be sworn in on Jan. 8 at the State Capitol in a Joint Session.

Thank you again for the wonderful support in the Lakes Region.

Joseph D. Kenney
Executive Councilor District 1

  • Category: Letters
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The Democrats are the stupid ones – they voted for Obamacare

To The Daily Sun,

The election is over. Although I am disappointed in some of the outcomes in New Hampshire, I am pleased that the Republicans will have the majority in the Senate in Washington, D.C.

One benefit of having the Republican majority in the Senate is, the House will create a budget and it will send it to the Senate and should not get thrown in the trash like Harry Reid did. We might actually get a federal budget. We have only passed one since Obama was elected.

I believe the election was a mandate telling the president that the majority of U.S. citizens do not like his policies. However he does not think this. He is so arrogant that he wants to sign an executive order for amnesty.

The Democrats evidently do think the election was a mandate against Obama, as many Democrats that were opposed to the Keystone Pipeline now have voted for it. They do this in hopes that their vote will help Senator Mary Landrieu in Louisiana win the runoff election. I certainly hope this does not happen. I hope the voters are smarter than this. Louisiana could use the jobs, but they deserve a better senator.

Recently MIT professor/White House consultant Jonathan Gruber called the voters stupid for being in favor of Obamacare. He said the penalty part was deliberately written that it was not a tax because calling it a tax would kill it. He praised the late Senator Kennedy for ripping off the American public for $400 million a year. He deliberately did not let the bill be transparent because he did not want the public to know anything about it. Pelosi just recently said she did not know who Jonathan Gruber is, but she certainly could not praise him enough when the bill was passed.

The Democrats are the stupid ones. They are the ones that voted for it. I do not know of one single Republican who voted for it. So essentially Gruber is calling Democrats stupid.

Well we shall see soon enough. I hope the Republicans will repeal Obamacare. I hope the Republicans will defund amnesty if the president writes an executive order. Let's see if some Democrats vote with the Republicans. Time will only tell. And 2016 is not that far away......

Linda Riley


  • Category: Letters
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