If you are a Gilford property owner, you have just received your property tax bill. Happy? Sad? Angry? Did you notice that, while the total tax rate dropped by less than 7%, the portion of the total tax rate represented by the school tax rate increased (as it usually does) from the prior year?
And since the assessed value of your property has probably increased, perhaps substantially, your tax bill this year is greater than it was last year.
Your property taxes are determined by two components: (1) the assessed value of your property; and (2) the tax rate.
The tax rate is ultimately determined by the voters in each March election when votes are taken on the budget and special financial request articles and for those who are to serve on the Budget Committee, the Board of Selectmen, and the School Board, all of which will have openings in the next election.
The only practical way to take control of your property taxes is to elect genuine fiscal conservatives whenever you can. You will have your chance at the next Town and Schools elections on March 10, at which there will be 1 vacancy on the School Board, 1 on the Board of Selectmen, and 3 on the Budget Committee.
If you believe that the taxes for our schools are too high and keep increasing each year by too much, as the enrollment in our schools keeps declining, now is the time to commit to becoming a candidate for the School Board, which is in dire need of members with a strong sense of fiscal restraint.
If you believe that the fiduciary duties owed by the Gilford selectmen to the taxpayers have not been fulfilled properly, now is the time to commit to becoming a candidate for Selectman (whether you are a man or a woman), and if you are successful, you can have a hand in the fashioning of the recommended town budget as well as the fulfillment of other fiduciary duties owed to the taxpayers and voters of our town.
See my article “Throw the Bums Out!”.
The simple but central economic issue is always present: We have limited resources (taxes) to allocate among numerous competing uses.
We must live within our means, and that means making hard choices.
Every household knows that there are practical limits on how much you can spend, depending on your income. The town and schools should concentrate on properly funding essential services while reducing or eliminating wasteful or non-essential spending.
The only way to take control of your property taxes is to elect true fiscal conservatives to the Budget Committee, the Board of Selectmen, and the School Board.
Please seriously consider running for office, and, in any event, do not forget to vote — if you will not be in town for the election, please request and complete and return an absentee ballot. It is easy to do.
You can make a difference!