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Forum, July 13: Property Taxes Are Key


Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Co-ops Working Together 

Congratulations to the residents of the Daniels Acres and Pleasant Valley mobile home parks for developing co-ops to own and operate each site ( “A Change in Ownership,” July 10 Valley News).

Co-op ownership of mobile home parks throughout New Hampshire has become an inspiring success story, thanks to the hard work of residents and the skill-sharing of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. 

Valley News readers may also be interested to know that one of the biggest supporters of the loan fund is another co-op, the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society. Since 2001, our Co-op has established an endowment, which is invested in the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation, to develop co-op enterprises in food, child care and home ownership. Our endowment has been funded by a variety of voluntary efforts — golf tournaments, walkathons, product sales in all four Co-op stores, and donations by Co-op members.

Those funds have helped fuel the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, which reports that 26 percent of all the manufactured-home communities in the state are owned by residents. That’s a greater percentage than anywhere else in the U.S.

Things really do work well when we work cooperatively!

Harrison Drinkwater

Member, Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society Board

  Chair, Hanover Cooperative Community Fund

Lebanon

Property Taxes Are Key 

 

Where would you locate your new home or business? The central New Hampshire region is a tourist-based economy that experiences seasonal population shift.

 Our population continues to edge upward in average age, with fewer and fewer young people staying in New Hampshire after graduating from high school or college.  

Why? It’s primarily due to the cost of workforce housing. Others assume it has to do with the lack of jobs — wrong.  Perhaps the lack of a variety of jobs is a problem, but not just jobs per se. Look around you: There are plenty of “Now Hiring” signs in all sorts of businesses. Fruedenberg-NOK, Bristol’s largest employer (the school district is second), is eager to attract professional engineering talent and a variety of other specialized expertise. The major contributing factor to the problem is the cost of housing. The reason our school population continues to decline is because parents of school-age children are finding they can give themselves a raise by making the same money in a greater variety of professions in the South and Midwest by reducing their cost of housing! So, they move.  

Were we to find a way to lower the property tax burden on homeowners, it would: attract more residential buyers to the area to take advantage of that phenomenon; produce the need for more goods and services; increase the demand for businesses to support a growing economy; and broaden the tax base. This would spread the tax burden among a larger local population — stabilizing the student population. And by the way, this action, it should be noted by all, would also increase the value of property. There is a solution to this problem, but it will take full-time leadership and commitment to bring it about.  

I have a strategic plan, and it requires far more time and space than allowed in this space to present and explain. But after 10 years of ongoing public service, I’d like the chance to present it. It deserves both a hearing as well as a debate.

Vincent Paul Migliore

Republican candidate in July 18 primary

District 9 (Grafton, Bristol, Ashland, Alexandria, Bridgewater) 

Bridgewater