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Old 02-22-2021, 01:52 PM   #1
bigdog
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Default The Tax Man Cometh !

Just received a friendly letter from my Gilford Assessor's office, indicating they will be performing 'cycled' inspections !

Their letter indicates that this doesn't imply that my taxes will have an automatic change to assessed value, but I suspect the town needs more income to operate, hence the review !

God help anyone who has added additions to their property, or updated their interior, as everything has a dollar value. If you've updated a kitchen, or added finished basement, etc., plan for your assessed value to change.

Anyway, I'm locking my doors, and windows, pulling my blinds, curtains,
and not allowing them access ! They can use existing info.on file, to come to there appraisal value.
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Old 02-22-2021, 01:54 PM   #2
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Remember, you don’t have to let them in


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Old 02-22-2021, 02:23 PM   #3
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I thought this would be appropriate for the “Lubricate Calipers” thread.
Once they visit your property, you are going to need that lubrication.
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Old 02-22-2021, 04:49 PM   #4
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If you own waterfront you could tear your house down and your assessment will still go up.
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bigdog View Post

God help anyone who has added additions to their property, or updated their interior, as everything has a dollar value. If you've updated a kitchen, or added finished basement, etc., plan for your assessed value to change.

Anyway, I'm locking my doors, and windows, pulling my blinds, curtains,
and not allowing them access ! They can use existing info.on file, to come to there appraisal value.
Obviously, no one would work on their property and make improvements without the necessary permits.

When the project is complete the Building Department notifies the Assessors Office that the improvements have taken place and the property needs to be reassessed. As has been said, you do not have to let the assessor in. However, in the communities I am familiar with, you cannot appeal the new assessment for one year if you did not let them in.
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:40 PM   #6
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I thought this would be appropriate for the “Lubricate Calipers” thread.
Once they visit your property, you are going to need that lubrication.
" rear calipers " only!

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Old 02-22-2021, 11:12 PM   #7
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Default Assess vs appraise vs tax rate

I continue to be amazed by the apparent widespread misconception that assessors have anything to do with setting the tax rate or the level of community spending. That's up to the voters. If you aren't a voter, as in you operate a local manufacturing plant valued at $20MM, you don't get to vote. If you own waterfront property and can't vote, you are part of the local "industry" industrial tax base. Suck it up and stop whining.

If you're lucky enough to own Winnipesaukee waterfront, you're lucky enough.
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Old 03-01-2021, 01:35 PM   #8
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I continue to be amazed by the apparent widespread misconception that assessors have anything to do with setting the tax rate or the level of community spending. That's up to the voters. If you aren't a voter, as in you operate a local manufacturing plant valued at $20MM, you don't get to vote. If you own waterfront property and can't vote, you are part of the local "industry" industrial tax base. Suck it up and stop whining.

If you're lucky enough to own Winnipesaukee waterfront, you're lucky enough.
On the other hand.....

Assessments dictate what portion of that burden you are responsible for paying. Therefore if for example during a re-assessment cycle water front properties average an increase of 20% while a typical residential property increases at say 5% that equates to a 15% shift of burden. Yes the tax rate is set based on the town budget and goes up at a fixed rate increase, but don't ignore the fact that shift occurred via the assessment process. Worst of all as you point out many of these properties are owned by non-residents so like a business, they are unable to have a voice in how the town spends the tax money they are responsible for paying.

To suggest that those that are "lucky enough" to own something such as waterfront is dubious, guy like myself, and there are plenty like me worked my can off to get what I have and scrimped and saved to do it. Suck it up? Really? I think "thank you" is more appropriate for subsidizing all the stupidly expensive town projects that I am forced to pay for, had no say in their approval, and frankly reap little to no benefit from. What do I get as an island owner from the town? Nothing.

That's not to say that everyone has a vested interest in appropriately funding the town, but to target businesses and prime property owners as cash registers is fundamentally gross in my humble opinion. If everyone in town was hit with a 20% increase in tax burden I bet full time residents might be a little more frugal at the ballot box. Why don't the full time residents "suck it up" for a change and stop whining about senior centers, DPW buildings and library expansions? Just sayin!
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Old 03-01-2021, 06:05 PM   #9
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The way I look at it, the rules by which property is assessed and taxed have been in place for quite a while. Businesses and non residents don't have a vote in the town budget and that is nothing new. Nor is it practical that they should. If non residents voted, they could shrink the budget to save themselves $$$ and face no significant impact. The residents would be stuck with the negative results. Non residents CHOOSE to be here. If they don't like the impact of town spending, they can leave. Further, the biggest impact on shifting taxes to the waterfront owners is not, I believe, the town budget, but instead other non residents bidding up property in a hot real estate market. Your assessed value is impacted by the increased prices they are willing to pay. YOUR property has increased potential value in the current market and THAT is what we are taxed on, estimated current value of our property. You might perceive that your increased value being taxed is "unfair" but that is how it works and has worked.

If you don't like the property tax system in NH, try Vermont or Maine. They have nice vacation property as well.

I'm not saying complaining people should leave but it feels like they sat down at a Poker game and are complaining that the rules are not like those of a game of Bridge.
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Old 03-01-2021, 07:02 PM   #10
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The way I look at it, the rules by which property is assessed and taxed have been in place for quite a while. Businesses and non residents don't have a vote in the town budget and that is nothing new. Nor is it practical that they should. If non residents voted, they could shrink the budget to save themselves $$$ and face no significant impact. The residents would be stuck with the negative results. Non residents CHOOSE to be here. If they don't like the impact of town spending, they can leave. Further, the biggest impact on shifting taxes to the waterfront owners is not, I believe, the town budget, but instead other non residents bidding up property in a hot real estate market. Your assessed value is impacted by the increased prices they are willing to pay. YOUR property has increased potential value in the current market and THAT is what we are taxed on, estimated current value of our property. You might perceive that your increased value being taxed is "unfair" but that is how it works and has worked.

If you don't like the property tax system in NH, try Vermont or Maine. They have nice vacation property as well.

I'm not saying complaining people should leave but it feels like they sat down at a Poker game and are complaining that the rules are not like those of a game of Bridge.
No doubt it's a fascinating subject.

I do disagree it's not practical for "non full time residents" to have a say in budget related items ONLY. Otherwise it's akin to taxation with out representation right? So lets just say non-resident residents could vote as I suggested. You do bring up a good and valid point in theory all non residents could (if they outnumber full time residents) vote down every spending bill, however I don't believe that would conceptually happen. Here's why, property owners whether full time or not have a vested interest in the well being of the town where they own property. Certain towns are more desirable and some of that can be attributed to improvements in the aesthetics to basic services offered. To think that it is beneficial to starve a town where you hold a major investment seems at face value rather far fetched and self defeating. At the same time, there may be a little more resistance to frivolous spending or acceptance of projects that are simply way over priced and beyond what is prudent and reasonable for the town as a whole. See this is where I think to myself why the hell would full time residents ever vote anything down when they get such a huge return on a very small investment?

Not sure what the correct answer is I guess it comes down to the number of non residents to residents. I feel so long as the residents have the scales tipped slightly in their favor then there is no harm in letting non residents vote. That would assume that if all town residents voted in a block for a provision and all non residents in a block against, the provision would pass. However I don't see that ever happening, believing that most people are reasonable and requests to support the town, particularly critical departments would get overwhelming support from all.
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Old 03-01-2021, 07:04 PM   #11
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The OP posted "I suspect the town needs more income to operate, hence the review "
50 years ago, Selectmen were the Board of Assessors. They still are. But 50 years ago some selectmen were accused of never re-assessing existing properties. If you built or moved into town that last purchase price was the new assessment and everybody else just kept the old number assessed value.
Over simplified, I admit, but eventually, all towns were required to reassess on a routine schedule for all properties. In the 70's and 80's, when there was a major influx from Mass, NH residences were going up in price, and so were assessments. But people weren't so worried about taxes, because the rates were still low. Claremont and sidewalks still hadn't come to NH. If you want street lights and trash collection, you gotta pay for it.
BTW, the Gilford Island Association has been operational for decades with good success in dealing with the Town. Glendale is well maintained, runs smoothly, and we just got a new fire boat. We do have some island residents who have in-town homes too, so a few can vote, even run for office.
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Old 03-02-2021, 06:44 AM   #12
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No doubt it's a fascinating subject.

I do disagree it's not practical for "non full time residents" to have a say in budget related items ONLY. Otherwise it's akin to taxation with out representation right? So lets just say non-resident residents could vote as I suggested. You do bring up a good and valid point in theory all non residents could (if they outnumber full time residents) vote down every spending bill, however I don't believe that would conceptually happen. Here's why, property owners whether full time or not have a vested interest in the well being of the town where they own property. Certain towns are more desirable and some of that can be attributed to improvements in the aesthetics to basic services offered. To think that it is beneficial to starve a town where you hold a major investment seems at face value rather far fetched and self defeating. At the same time, there may be a little more resistance to frivolous spending or acceptance of projects that are simply way over priced and beyond what is prudent and reasonable for the town as a whole. See this is where I think to myself why the hell would full time residents ever vote anything down when they get such a huge return on a very small investment?

Not sure what the correct answer is I guess it comes down to the number of non residents to residents. I feel so long as the residents have the scales tipped slightly in their favor then there is no harm in letting non residents vote. That would assume that if all town residents voted in a block for a provision and all non residents in a block against, the provision would pass. However I don't see that ever happening, believing that most people are reasonable and requests to support the town, particularly critical departments would get overwhelming support from all.
Your take on this would put the residents in the position of HOPING that non residents are reasonable and fair and even altruistic in dealing with their vacation town. Yet the very tone of this thread begins with trying to prevent the town from getting an accurate assessment of the value of a property and the advice about tax assessment is NOT to let the assessor in the house to achieve an complete valuation. People talk about making changes to their property that they KNOW increases the value and then trying to figure out how to keep that information from the assessors.

I understand and emphasize with the desire to keep my property taxes low. However, I think the vote should stay with the people that live in a town and are most impacted by the decisions made in town voting. When I know my town needs a new fire station (at a reasonable cost) or a new fulltime town employee, I can support that need, even if taxes have to go up. I would rather have the non residents dependant on MY sense of reasonableness and fairness rather than me dependant on them and having to live with the their "I don't use it so I don't want to pay for it" outcomes.
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:28 AM   #13
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I would rather have the non residents dependant on MY sense of reasonableness and fairness rather than me dependant on them and having to live with the their "I don't use it so I don't want to pay for it" outcomes.

There you illustrate the very problem - those that are voting aren't paying the lions share so they don't have to care paying pennies on the dollar of what they vote for. Those that are paying the majority are forced to sit down, shut up and don't whine or complain, you chose to buy here. But why is that? Why not say hey full time residents chose to move into a town where the majority of property owners are non-residents? Those are the people that are paying the majority of the tax burden so sit down, shut up and enjoy the nearly free ride? LOL of course the latter is frowned upon yet interesting the former is perfectly fine but equally obscene.

I guess I have a fundamental problem with people being taxed and have zero say in decisions that directly effect those tax bills.

Again I do not believe that if allowed non-residents would be an overwhelming voting block against any town spending initiative. It is simply not in their interest to do so. What do you think would happen to property values in a town that is poorly run because it is cash starved? On the other hand I think a lot of these big ticket items with multi million dollar bottom lines might just receive far more scrutiny than they do now. That I see as a good thing. Nobody is going to vote down a new fire truck if it is needed.
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:39 AM   #14
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No doubt it's a fascinating subject.

I do disagree it's not practical for "non full time residents" to have a say in budget related items ONLY. Otherwise it's akin to taxation with out representation right? So lets just say non-resident residents could vote as I suggested. You do bring up a good and valid point in theory all non residents could (if they outnumber full time residents) vote down every spending bill, however I don't believe that would conceptually happen. Here's why, property owners whether full time or not have a vested interest in the well being of the town where they own property. Certain towns are more desirable and some of that can be attributed to improvements in the aesthetics to basic services offered. To think that it is beneficial to starve a town where you hold a major investment seems at face value rather far fetched and self defeating. At the same time, there may be a little more resistance to frivolous spending or acceptance of projects that are simply way over priced and beyond what is prudent and reasonable for the town as a whole. See this is where I think to myself why the hell would full time residents ever vote anything down when they get such a huge return on a very small investment?

Not sure what the correct answer is I guess it comes down to the number of non residents to residents. I feel so long as the residents have the scales tipped slightly in their favor then there is no harm in letting non residents vote. That would assume that if all town residents voted in a block for a provision and all non residents in a block against, the provision would pass. However I don't see that ever happening, believing that most people are reasonable and requests to support the town, particularly critical departments would get overwhelming support from all.
With the change from a domicile (Must live in the state for so many days) definition of residency to a resident definition. Anyone who rents or owns property in New Hampshire can claim residence in the state. By RSA definition one must present a lease or tax Bill, obtain a New Hampshire drivers license, register a vehicle if they own one and register to vote to become a resident. Many out of state property owners may have one spouse declare New Hampshire residents and then vote in local elections which is where the real power is.
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Old 03-03-2021, 04:00 PM   #15
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With the change from a domicile (Must live in the state for so many days) definition of residency to a resident definition. Anyone who rents or owns property in New Hampshire can claim residence in the state. By RSA definition one must present a lease or tax Bill, obtain a New Hampshire drivers license, register a vehicle if they own one and register to vote to become a resident. Many out of state property owners may have one spouse declare New Hampshire residents and then vote in local elections which is where the real power is.
I'm already a NH resident. Just not a resident of Meredith. I have my hands full with my home town as it is I need to remain a voter there. My taxes on my primary residence are atrocious. Unfortunately there is a steady influx of new "residents" who were not satisfied in screwing up just where they came from, but need to screw up everywhere they go. It ain't just people from MA either although many are. Seeing a lot of NY, CT, RI and NJ transplants too. Not to say that all transplants are lumped into a single category and bad - many get it, moved away and don't want what they left behind to follow. We like and welcome them!
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Old 03-03-2021, 04:26 PM   #16
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The way I look at it, the rules by which property is assessed and taxed have been in place for quite a while. Businesses and non residents don't have a vote in the town budget and that is nothing new. Nor is it practical that they should. If non residents voted, they could shrink the budget to save themselves $$$ and face no significant impact. The residents would be stuck with the negative results. Non residents CHOOSE to be here. If they don't like the impact of town spending, they can leave. Further, the biggest impact on shifting taxes to the waterfront owners is not, I believe, the town budget, but instead other non residents bidding up property in a hot real estate market. Your assessed value is impacted by the increased prices they are willing to pay. YOUR property has increased potential value in the current market and THAT is what we are taxed on, estimated current value of our property. You might perceive that your increased value being taxed is "unfair" but that is how it works and has worked.

If you don't like the property tax system in NH, try Vermont or Maine. They have nice vacation property as well.

I'm not saying complaining people should leave but it feels like they sat down at a Poker game and are complaining that the rules are not like those of a game of Bridge.
I believe if you as an individual, not a business, owns a property in a different location as your primary residence you should be able to vote in the locals elections only affecting that property directly. as in i am a non resident in Laconia, so I should be able to vote on Laconia related only. Not state level nor Federal level because you do that at your primary.

Seems to be forgotten that at one time when it was not done on a ballot but in a town hall event or something like that non residents were allowed
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Old 03-03-2021, 05:51 PM   #17
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I believe if you as an individual, not a business, owns a property in a different location as your primary residence you should be able to vote in the locals elections only affecting that property directly. as in i am a non resident in Laconia, so I should be able to vote on Laconia related only. Not state level nor Federal level because you do that at your primary.

Seems to be forgotten that at one time when it was not done on a ballot but in a town hall event or something like that non residents were allowed
LOL well the nice thing is when it becomes illegal to do any kind of ID checking to vote, that will be your invitation to have your voice heard. Just wait, it's coming soon.
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Old 03-03-2021, 06:30 PM   #18
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Default Volunteers

Newbies and non-residents may not realize it, but we're only about 25 years removed from"traditional" town meetings where you had to be there on the second Tuesday in March and spend 3-4 hours in the gym, in person, to vote. The ambulance, fire dept and police dept all had large volunteer components as did the library and the schools. These volunteers made everything work so that non-residents could enjoy their hunting or ski cabin or their lake camp. Selectmen, county delegation and state reps and senators are all volunteers too. Coaches and team leaders build parks and ball fields so you have parks to play in and swim at or cross-country ski. The volunteer conservation commission buys and protects land so you can hunt or snowmobile. All this and more, and you think you should be able to vote just because you pay taxes? That's B*%%$^!T. C'mon, man.
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Old 03-03-2021, 06:40 PM   #19
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Newbies and non-residents may not realize it, but we're only about 25 years removed from"traditional" town meetings where you had to be there on the second Tuesday in March and spend 3-4 hours in the gym, in person, to vote. The ambulance, fire dept and police dept all had large volunteer components as did the library and the schools. These volunteers made everything work so that non-residents could enjoy their hunting or ski cabin or their lake camp. Selectmen, county delegation and state reps and senators are all volunteers too. Coaches and team leaders build parks and ball fields so you have parks to play in and swim at or cross-country ski. The volunteer conservation commission buys and protects land so you can hunt or snowmobile. All this and more, and you think you should be able to vote just because you pay taxes? That's B*%%$^!T. C'mon, man.
We raised our kids in a town with Town Meetings, praised endlessly as pure democracy. They actually are less democratic. Families with kids can't send two parents for 3 or so hours 2-3 mights in a row. People who work nights can't vote at all. Meetings were dominated by retirees with nothing to do.
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Old 03-03-2021, 06:52 PM   #20
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Newbies and non-residents may not realize it, but we're only about 25 years removed from"traditional" town meetings where you had to be there on the second Tuesday in March and spend 3-4 hours in the gym, in person, to vote. The ambulance, fire dept and police dept all had large volunteer components as did the library and the schools. These volunteers made everything work so that non-residents could enjoy their hunting or ski cabin or their lake camp. Selectmen, county delegation and state reps and senators are all volunteers too. Coaches and team leaders build parks and ball fields so you have parks to play in and swim at or cross-country ski. The volunteer conservation commission buys and protects land so you can hunt or snowmobile. All this and more, and you think you should be able to vote just because you pay taxes? That's B*%%$^!T. C'mon, man.
Hey there, Descant...watch your language! 🤓 I agree with you. Anyone who wants to vote locally has the option of declaring his NH property a primary residence and can then vote locally. It’s a choice people make when they fork over the big bucks when they buy [waterfront] property here. I actually have not heard non-resident taxpayers complain.
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:30 PM   #21
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We raised our kids in a town with Town Meetings, praised endlessly as pure democracy. They actually are less democratic. Families with kids can't send two parents for 3 or so hours 2-3 mights in a row. People who work nights can't vote at all. Meetings were dominated by retirees with nothing to do.
We now have too many people, although years ago we had 4,000 people at one meeting, three gyms all connected with big TV and audio. In the "old" days the Girl Scouts provided babysitting. As things progressed, meetings were televised so one parent could stay home and watch and then swap places for ballot votes on bonds or anything that 5 others petitioned for a ballot vote. Some towns meet on Saturdays. We tried that and it was voted down. The overall point was that there is more to being a resident than just mailing in a ballot. To me, you need to take some ownership and participate. And, traditional town meeting or some other plan, there are just some folks who don't vote. That's their right too.
BTW, the retirees who had nothing to do were heavily outnumbered by whoever had a project or a pay raise on the ballot. The original special interest group bloc.
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:35 PM   #22
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Hey there, Descant...watch your language! 🤓
Sorry. Sometimes "C'mon man" just flows off my fingertips. If people are offended by that phrase, I apologize.
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:53 PM   #23
Sue Doe-Nym
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Sorry. Sometimes "C'mon man" just flows off my fingertips. If people are offended by that phrase, I apologize.
No offense taken...just poking atcha.
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Old 03-03-2021, 09:49 PM   #24
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The small town Town Meeting is truly a great form of democracy. Every voter can ask questions of anyone with information about any budget item.

When you question the police budget the Police Chief and maybe the Finance Committee Chairman stand up to explain the numbers and the reasons behind them. The same is true with every other department and budget line item from the school department to the DPW. Someone will answer your questions.

One of the down sides to this is people with a vested interest in some individual item may pack the meeting and sway the vote. For example: When the Fire Department wants to add two Firefighters, all the Firefighters, and their spouses and their neighbors show up and skew the vote.

Some residents get very involved, others are not aware of most everything going on in their town. Their only concern is that their street gets plowed when it snows and what day their rubbish gets picked up.
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Old 03-03-2021, 11:46 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by TiltonBB View Post
The small town Town Meeting is truly a great form of democracy. Every voter can ask questions of anyone with information about any budget item.

When you question the police budget the Police Chief and maybe the Finance Committee Chairman stand up to explain the numbers and the reasons behind them. The same is true with every other department and budget line item from the school department to the DPW. Someone will answer your questions.

One of the down sides to this is people with a vested interest in some individual item may pack the meeting and sway the vote. For example: When the Fire Department wants to add two Firefighters, all the Firefighters, and their spouses and their neighbors show up and skew the vote.

Some residents get very involved, others are not aware of most everything going on in their town. Their only concern is that their street gets plowed when it snows and what day their rubbish gets picked up.
That's the point. If it is important to you, you show up and vote, and bring friends to vote. If it is less important, as Flying Scot suggests, you don't show up, for whatever reason, work, babysitter etc.
At town meeting, the Fire truck is outside the door so they can vote, not because they think the school will explode. Or, so they can sell sandwiches to raise money for a new engine. This is real democracy. As is the ham and bean supper to raise money for a new ambulance, etc. This stuff still happens west of I-495, too. Don't pretend it doesn't. Nationally, something like 60% of fire departments are volunteer.
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Old 03-04-2021, 08:47 AM   #26
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I agree. The majority of the people don't show up at town meeting. A lot more vote when it's a SB2 town.
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Old 03-04-2021, 04:40 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiltonBB View Post
The small town Town Meeting is truly a great form of democracy. Every voter can ask questions of anyone with information about any budget item.

When you question the police budget the Police Chief and maybe the Finance Committee Chairman stand up to explain the numbers and the reasons behind them. The same is true with every other department and budget line item from the school department to the DPW. Someone will answer your questions.

One of the down sides to this is people with a vested interest in some individual item may pack the meeting and sway the vote. For example: When the Fire Department wants to add two Firefighters, all the Firefighters, and their spouses and their neighbors show up and skew the vote.

Some residents get very involved, others are not aware of most everything going on in their town. Their only concern is that their street gets plowed when it snows and what day their rubbish gets picked up.
In my town close to 70% of the tax collected comes from lakefront property. Many locals off the water forgot that their taxes are much lower and enjoy many benefits because of the Lakes. When Covid became an issue the locals started to harass waterfront owners who are not residents. After a month of people telling the non-residents to stay home someone did the math. They pointed out to the locals how much of their business was supported by the lake residents and what their taxes would look like without them. Many did not realize that their taxes are unusually low because of the "non resident seasonal". Thankfully they backed off when they realized they were only hurting their own pocketbooks.
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