View Tax:

 To my endless amazement, folks seem willing to compromise our Constitution (your Rights & lawful government) in order to use the law and government to trample the Rights of their neighbors or further fund their already bloated budgets of government. The “View Tax” is just such a scheme. It is a means by which a minority is singled out and ‘selective’ theft is perpetrated against them, under the color of law.

 The issue is simply money. Get more - any way you can. If you can’t think some new “thing” to tax, think up a “concept or idea” to tax. Sort of like how we used to get an electric bill but now they line item us with the bill for generating the electricity, transporting the electricity over the wires that have been there for fifty years and also charge us for decommissioning the nuke plant that the federal and state governments already gave them a credit for on their corporate taxes. It’s rather elegant. They tell us they lower our rates for “electricity” while they hit us with new and interesting line items that raise our actual costs. Expect more of these ‘concept taxes’ that would benefit the state and local governments.

 How about apply a special tax everyone owning property within 5 miles of a town/city center for the value accrued from the “urban ambiance”. Proximity to restaurants, clubs, shopping & night life has distinct value which should net the state & local government at least a 60% markup on the current assessed value. Or a “commuter tax” added to every home within 3 miles of a highway on-ramp because this easy on to the highway system makes commuting to higher paying positions available out of town very simple. Proximity to the highway system should increase the assessed property value by at least 25%. Why not a public beach assessment? Any property within four miles to a public beach should have their assessed value raised by 40% due to the fact that these folks enjoy infrastructure not readily available to the rest of us in New Hampshire. Maintaining this infrastructure is costly (it might be said) thus the ‘burden’ should be borne by those most likely to utilize the asset. Just these three taxes would add millions to the bloated budgets.

 The problem with these ideas is the: “I think this (“view”, city, on-ramp or beach) adds value to property above and beyond the accepted, calculated value” is an arbitrary determination not defined in the law. As such, it can’t be uniformly applied and therefore does NOT result in “Equality of rights under the law “which is (allegedly) guaranteed under our Constitution. It would be like passing a law that said any citizen found to be a ‘pest’ would be subject to thirty days in the county lockup. Who determines if I’m a pest and by what criteria is a judgment to be made? Am I a pest because I don’t rake my lawn in the fall or am I a pest because write letters to the editor about county or town politics (or taxes)? From town to town an arbitrary or ‘selective’ set of criteria could be used and enforced at the whim of the government in fact INSURING that there’s no equal protection under the law.

 Article 2 of our state Constitution is supposed to assure us that “All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights - among which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting, property; and, in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by this state ...” (www.nh.gov/constitution/billofrights.html) Two issues within this articulated Right of New Hampshire Citizens seems clear to me. The government is supposed to INSURE that we have the right to own property and that we should receive “equality of rights under the law”.

 Similarly, the Fourteenth Amendment to our Federal Constitution commands a guarantee equal protection under the law. Ad hoc and subjective criteria based taxes, with the attendant dangers of arbitrary and discriminatory application do not comply with the “equality” standard our officials are tasked by their Oath of Office to provide us. In fact, the subjective nature of the undefined criteria falls directly into the realm of an enactment that would be deemed ‘void for vagueness’ established by the Supreme Court of New Hampshire and the Federal court.

 Our own Supreme Court in the case The State of New Hampshire v. Janet Macelman (not a tax case but ‘doctrine’ in law nonetheless) in November of 2006 states: “A statute can be impermissibly vague for either of two independent reasons: (1) it fails to provide people of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to understand what conduct it prohibits; or (2) it authorizes or even encourages arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement. The U.S. Supreme Court in Gould v. Gould stated clearly that "In the interpretation of statutes levying taxes, it is THE ESTABLISHED RULE NOT TO EXTEND their provisions, by implication, BEYOND THE CLEAR IMPORT OF THE LANGUAGE USED, OR TO ENLARGE their operations SO AS TO EMBRACE MATTERS NOT SPECIFICALLY POINTED OUT". In case of doubt they are construed most strongly against the government, and in favor of the citizen."

 So, what’s Manchester’s view on a “view” on the view tax, or Charlestown’s or Nashua’s? Will we be assessed on our property’s “market value” or “true value” according to law articulated in New Hampshire’s RSA, Chapter 75, Section 75:1 or will non licensed private ‘outsource’ firms just ‘wing it’ under the view tax to give the communities a few extra dollars more that they might misspend? Do YOU have a ‘view’ (no pun intended, of course) - if so, you may want to wake up long enough to share it with your representatives before they incrementally tax us all into moving to Arkansas.

 

Governor

Christopher T. Sununu

District 1

Joseph D Kenney

District 2

Andru Volinsky

District 3

Russell E Prescott

District 4

Christopher C. Pappas

District 5

David K. Wheeler

Click on the above photos to read about each of our council members.

 

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