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Want to know why N.H. is the 49th fastest growing state?

To The Daily Sun,

A state representative responded to my opposition to the proposed gas tax hike letter to the editor via e-mail and I thank him for the included editorial written by Richard Barry. The piece asserts that 20-plus years ago the state took 18.2 percent of all money spent on gasoline for itself. The reasoning being that since the cost of gasoline went up, the amount of tax paid should go up proportionally. The piece further supports the need for additional taxation by asserting that the volume of gas purchased in New Hampshire has decreased for a number of reasons: more fuel-efficient cars, more hybrid cars and people are driving less. Tax raisers lament that without an increase in the fee, the amount of revenue the gas tax provides actually goes down each year. To which I say, it should.

We do not need a gas tax hike. We need less governmental spending and an increase in disposable income for the people who live here. The article fails the logic test. The largest reason the price of gas went up is that the Secretary of Energy tried to force it up to $7 a barrel for political reasons. The price rise was uncoupled from inflation and general pricing. And if we are buying less gas because we are using more efficient vehicles which are lighter they wear out the road at a lower rate. And if we are using less gas because we are traveling fewer miles then we should require less highway maintenance due to less usage. And if we are traveling fewer miles it is because we are poorer and doing less business. And if we are using other fuels then we should be getting the highway taxes from those other fuels not from gas. What we have here is a lack of legislative perspicacity.

A different state representative responded by explaining that without a gas tax increase the choices are: no snowplowing on almost all roads, many bridges closed, or in the alternative we can implement a 50 percent increase on car and truck registrations. Now that's leadership — make a straw man argument. Base the argument on false assumptions and make tax increase answer the only alternative. Please.

We all have budgets in which spending level is determined by income available, not the other way around. When we want something that is beyond our means it goes on the wish list. We must prioritize our spending. New Hampshire should, too.

The New Hampshire state budget is all smoke and mirrors. The state matches authorized spending to expected revenue. The system is laughable, constitutional, but laughable. There's no accountability or sense of personal responsibility to the results. That's why New Hampshire is the 49th fastest growing state in the nation, young people don't stay here and businesses don't come here.

Sorry, the time to tighten the belt is now. It is time to decide what's nice and what's necessary.

Marc Abear


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Alton Selectboard is now further restricting who can say what

To The Daily Sun,

After seeing what happened at the March 16 Alton selectmen's meeting, I feel compelled to write this letter.

Loring Carr put a motion to restrict all public input to subjects that are on the agenda for that meeting. The vote was 4 to 1 to pass the motion, with Mr. Wittmann the only "no" vote. When I questioned this rule change I was told that public input was a privilege, not a right, and could be taken away at any time.

Starting immediately, we, the citizens of Alton, must write a letter to the town administrator to get permission to speak on subjects other than what is on the agenda.

"Public participation in the board's regular meetings is a privilege that the board has adopted in order to assure that persons who wish to appear before the Board and bring matters to its attention may be heard."

This statement is written in the rules governing selectmen's meetings from the town website. I feel it is our right and duty to speak. It should not be a privilege given by the people we elect to represent us. If we do not have the right to free speech, what do we have left?

I feel it is time for the citizens of Alton to call for a public meeting of Selectboard to change this statement from privilege to speak, to right to speak on any subject.

Donald Kleeberg


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