Here’s a link to the Article as it will appear on the Ballot:
What it means: The proposed budget of $27,151,600, if approved by voters, will be the Operating Budget for the fiscal year beginning January 2015. This represents a 6% increase over 2014, which was a Default Budget
A “No” vote means: The Default Budget of $26,507,097 will be the Operating Budget for the fiscal year beginning January 2015. This represents a 3.5% increase over last year’s budget, which was a Default Budget. The Default Budget is defined as last year’s budget increased by contractual obligations, debt service and any petitioned Warrant Articles that are passed by the voters on March 10th.
Those in favor of approving the proposed budget say: This allows the funding of projects that have been on hold for several years as the town and the taxpayers adjusted to difficult economic conditions in the 2009-2014 period. After 6 years of cutting corners, the town has a number of infrastructure items that need attention. Any taxpayer who has delayed necessary upkeep due to “belt tightening” knows that eventually, vehicles need to be replaced, and expenditures need to be made to support the long-term health of investments. Operating under a Default Budget means that any town employee who has been recommended for a raise does not receive it. Approving the Operating Budget assures that Town Hall employees are appropriately compensated and retained. Speakers at Deliberative Session said the Default Budget should not be the ‘target” budget year after year. It was a “floor” put in place by NH Legislature so towns could function at some level even if the Operating Budget was defeated.
Those against Article 12 say: The Default Budget would be 3.5% higher than last year’s budget. Those who spoke against approving the Operating Budget as amended at Deliberative Session ($27,151,600) felt that the level of funding in the Default Budget is sufficient to handle the needs of the town. A speaker also noted that there is some funding remaining from 2014 that could be redeployed for 2015.
Fiscal Impact: The average Hampton home valued at $329,000 would bear an increased tax cost of $180.95 if this Article passes, and $104.95 if it is defeated. The difference is $76.00.
To calculate the effect on your property tax (for your specific property):
- Divide the Tax Assessor’s Valuation of your home by 1,000. (Example: for a $329,000 assessment, the number to use would be 329.) Use your latest tax bill, or go to: http://gis.vgsi.com/hamptonnh/Search.aspx Enter your street address to get your valuation.
- Multiply the result in #1 by .55 to get the tax impact of the proposed Operating Budget.
- Multiply the result in #1 by .319 to determine the tax impact of the Default Budget.