Letter: Income is the problem

Published: 04-19-2024 11:48 AM

On April 10, I and about 50 residents of the ConVal School District attended a Community Conversation, “Where Does the ConVal School District Go From Here?” presented by the Monadnock Center for History and Culture and the Monadnock Ledger Transcript at the Monadnock Center Bass Hall.

Four speakers, School Board member Tom Burgess of Peterborough, Peterborough Plannng Board member Gary Gorski, former School Board member Katherine Heck of Greenfield and Bennington resident Bethany Craig shared their ideas for progressing. It was interesting to hear each speaker, three of whom centered on costs and expenses while one urged all to consider the impactful influence a local school has upon a community.

By show of hands, audience members had the opportunity to express their thoughts. Most of the audience that shared were concerned with rising property taxes. However, a key component of this issue is not cost or expense. We do not have an elevated expense problem; what we have is what the entire state has, an income problem. We do not have enough income to provide vital services.

Nationally, New Hampshire ranks 10th in per-capita income, while New Hampshire ranks 50th in state aid to education. We need to stop relying on the regressive property tax and to begin to utilize our enormous tax base of income. When tax money is derived from property tax, lower-income taxpayers do not have a source of income to pay unless they sell their property, then they'd have no home.

New Hampshire has an income problem, not an expense problem, and that is statewide. New Hampshire seems content on taking money from the poor and giving it to the wealthy who actually possess the resources and power to keep the tax structure in their favor.

Richard Page


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