To the Board of Selectmen, here are some specific facts and my comments related to the Hampton Union article last Friday regarding tax increases which are in the bullets below.
- “Selectman Rick Griffin said Silberdick should recognize that it was the town which passed the warrant articles, not the selectmen.”
- As you know, there is a line on the ballot associated with each article indicating if it is Recommended or Not Recommended by the Board of Selectmen. Mr. Griffin appears to have forgotten the Selectmen’s recommendations on the 2015 ballot and he doesn’t appear to see the Selectmen as having a leadership responsibility to balance the needs and wants proposed by the Town Manager and Department Heads with the impact on the taxpayer.
- Had the voters approved all of the warrant articles Recommended by the Selectmen in 2015 there would have been an additional $834,744 in taxable spending resulting in the town portion of tax rate increasing from $7.24 to $8.21 / 13% increase, as opposed to the $7.91 / 9% increase actually approved by the voters.
- The Selectmen need to accept the responsibility and provide an explanation for proposing double-digit spending increases while social security recipients are getting no increase.
- “While the tax rate has increased, Griffin said it’s important to note that Hampton’s tax rate is still relatively lower than in neighboring towns. I look at what’s going to be happening in Exeter and Newmarket. Hampton’s tax rate is a bargain compared to some towns like Durham,” Griffin said. “Hampton’s tax rate is not going up as fast as the other towns around it.”
- Mr. Griffin’s comparisons to other towns are fantasy, I suspect that he’s looking at the total tax rate, as opposed to the town portion that the Selectmen control.
- Exeter’s 2015 town portion of the tax rate is $7.39 or 6% lower than Hampton’s 2015 town rate of $7.91. Exeter’s 2015 town rate is 5% lower than 2014.
- Newmarket’s 2015 town tax rate has not been set yet, the 2014 town tax rate was $6.22, 14% lower than Hampton’s 2014 rate and 22% lower than Hampton’s 2015 town tax rate.
- Hampton’s town tax rate of $7.91 is not a bargain based on the town tax rates of abutting towns, see comparatives below. As of Friday, the DRA had not yet set the 2015 Seabrook, Hampton Falls and North Hampton tax rates.
- 2014 Seabrook town rate is $6.37, 12% lower than Hampton’s 2014 tax rate and 19% less than Hampton’s 2015 rate.
- 2014 North Hampton town rate is $5.25, 27% lower than Hampton’s 2014 tax rate and 34% lower than Hampton’s 2015 rate.
- 2014 Hampton Falls town rate is $4.52, 37% lower than Hampton’s 2014 tax rate and 43% lower than Hampton’s 2015 rate.
We hope this helps clarify the truth about tax rates.