Robbing Peter to pay Paul:
There is much to be said about the tax bill we pay twice each year. First our tax computation is divided between the town’s administrative budget and two school district budgets. It is important for all of us to understand one very important point. We the property owners control the amount we pay in taxes.
Yes you heard me correctly…WE CONTROL THE TAX BILL! Of course, you have to show up to the school district’s annual meeting and annual town meeting to accomplish this.
Since 2009 the Henniker Community School (HCS) budget has increased by 13% ($882,000 increase. The biggest increase has been employee health insurance compensation) while the number of students has gone down.
It has been posted on the Henniker NH FaceBook page, by residents who have lived here longer than I have, that they cannot remember a school budget increase ever being denied. I have seen one proposed budget increase reduced to a smaller increase than proposed…but it was an increase none the less.
Now we need to understand that the HCS budget increases have caused the Select Board to significantly reduced the town’s administrative and public works budgets just to keep the tax bills down to a less “punishing level”. The result has been 100% financing of all our significant public works projects.
The town has 11 outstanding bonds…9 are for 100% financing :DEBT SCHEDULE 2016.
We are not using our tax dollars wisely. Under cutting the public works infrastructure projects then turning them into major ticket items and placing the expenditures on warrant articles in a time of emergency funding, while we overspend on HCS, is not a wise fiscal policy.
We must develop a new balanced approach when creating the budgets for 2017. We cannot continue to ignore the negative effects that the HCS monster budget has on our increasingly aging infrastructure.
Dr. Bruce Trivellini