December 10, 2010
Taxes Paid by Goffstown Residents

To the Editor:

There is a line from a movie (and a quote from Benjamin Franklin) that goes something like this: “The only thing in life that is certain is birth, death and taxes.” It is probably true that birth can be controlled to some degree, especially in our modern pharmaceutical era. Death may also be postponed by healthy living with the proper diet, adequate exercise, belief system, attitude and stress reduction. However, the matter of taxes is…well…a more taxing subject. 

There are numerous taxes that must be paid by all residents and sometimes they are all interactive, complex and difficult to easily grasp. Keeping taxes very confusing may also be intentional.

The first and most obvious tax in Goffstown is the property tax. The property tax is paid by residents twice a year and is used to pay most of the expenses for the operation of the schools and town departments. The local property tax doesn’t pay all the school bills because the State of NH pays a large portion of the school expenses. Sometimes the federal government also sends money to Goffstown. A reasonable question is where does the state get the money to give to Goffstown?

The answer to that question and the second tax for Goffstown residents is the state taxes.

The State of NH has about a $12 billion dollar budget that is mostly paid for by all the residents of NH. These state taxes are mostly fees assessed on residents and businesses (ultimately paid for by customers.) This money is used to keep the state running – for better or worse.

Since NH has no general sales or income tax, the state generally relies on the local property taxes to pay most bills within the local communities. This allows for a lot of local control over spending.

The state also gets some of its budget money from the federal government. A reasonable question is where does the federal government get the money to give to Goffstown and the state?

The answer to that question and the third tax paid by Goffstown residents is the federal income tax. This tax is collected from everyone’s paycheck without fail. The fact that for the first 250 years of this country there was no income tax (or federal debt) changed in 1913 with the creation of the central banking system. The creation of the central banking system is entirely a separate story.

The fourth and last tax paid by Goffstown residents is the inflation or stealth tax. This stealth tax is the most difficult to understand. It is also possibly the most cruel and unreasonable tax.

Since the federal government spends more than it takes in from taxes, it has a problem. Raising taxes directly is an issue with most voters. Cutting spending to reduce the need for more taxes is also an issue with most voters. Clever politicians are never at a loss for solutions, however.

The solution at the federal level is to raise the federal debt and borrow and use photocopier money to pay bills. When the lenders cease lending, things get interesting. When the extra photocopier money inflates the money supply and raises prices, things also get interesting. Watch out!

A really good question is what happens to Goffstown property taxes if the broke state and the broke federal government cease to give Goffstown more money to spend for things.

Goffstown may be about to learn the answer to some of those questions…hopefully not the hard way. Goffstown residents may need to be very vigilant as property tax voting season approaches.

I just thought that you had a “Right to Know” (R2K.)

Ivan Beliveau





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