|Written by Martin A. Cameron|
|Saturday, 25 March 2006
Typically a new tax is for the general welfare of all the citizens. However, the “% for Arts” ordinance currently before the council was created for the agenda of a special few. What are the Councilors thinking? Before them are cost issues such as rising employee health and insurance costs, construction and fuel price increases, and huge upcoming water and sewer costs. What of those in town on fixed incomes without funds to pay higher property taxes? This Council is sending a message that they just don’t care. Tell them not to raise your taxes to support the artist welfare society. Click here for contact information.When a government body implements a tax upon the governed body, a town, city, it is done because there is a problem that only a tax that can remedy the situation, be the problem a clogged sewer system, a destroyed school or major water system overhaul .In other words a problem that has to be solved for the health and general welfare of all the citizens of the municipality.
However, when a motion was made to create and impose a tax upon the residents of Portsmouth on 6 Mar 2006 it was not to solve a pending problem, improve public safety, or education. It was being imposed to add some artist rendition to future construction of public buildings in Portsmouth. The present proposal would be 1% of the construction cost over $2,000,000, of city owned projects with general public access, excluded would be sewer, water treatment plants, Madbury reservoir. A $10,000,000 building would add $100,000 to our tax bill. Possibly a job aid supplement for artists?
Taxpayers have to realize these extra taxes are being imposed not through a needed requirement but only created because some special few desire their agenda, not unlike a six year old desiring a new train / a doll or the whim of a king.. Not even King Richard III tea tax was a whim , he required more money for his war with France. The special agenda city councilors promoting this dominant position believe they know ’ what is good for us’ reminds me of the parent, “ eat your spinach, it’s good for you” .
It is a little difficult to comprehend some councilors thinking ,on this ’Imperial Tax,’ they hired an audit team to investigate the overtime in city departments , good procedure, but why replace any savings, if any, with a non productive special agenda tax?
A little later at this same meeting, the council took up an agenda item concerning the dire plight of many of our senior citizens ,some don’t have the funds to pay the property taxes on their property, homes they have lived in for 35 to 80 years. Due to the increase of their Social Security income they are being exempted from the tax exemption criteria, higher food, medicine and fuel bills have added to their financial strait. They are begging the council for assistance, however a new tax will not help.
This puzzles me, Councilors are aware of rising employee health and insurance costs, maybe a million dollars more in fuel bills, pay increases, construction increases, and finally the cities’ elderly financial plight, but they want to impose this whimsical ’art speak ’ tax. The message being sent by this council is, they just don’t care. This is a mandate to support the artist welfare society.
We appreciate the words and stand of Councilor Pantelakos on this issue. Click here to read her opinion and the current status of the ordinance in Adam Leach’s article for the Portsmouth Herald.
I do have a solution for this program, volunteer contributions. Take a line from the IRS Form 1040. On the Portsmouth Tax Bill enter -Do You Want to Contribute to our City Art Program ? Check Here and Enclose a separate check to — Portsmouth Art Trust.’ Thank You. Try it for one year. I promise to enclose my check.
Seniors take note: Telephone city hall– 610-7200– give your name and just say I don’t want this ART TAX, Don’t let this ’acorn’ become a full grown oak.
- Press Releases
- The BIG PICTURE in 60 seconds
- Govt. Spending & Budgets
- Water & Treatment Plant
- NH Right to Know Law & City Transparency
- Did You Know?
- Other Issues
- Meeting Info
- A View From The Press Box #5 February 5, 2014In the 5th Edition of “A View From The Press Box” I feature a few photos from Monday night’s City Council meeting (Feb. 3) This recent meeting lasted less than three hours, making it the quickest council this year so far. Despite its length, the meeting featured plenty of debate on several hot button issues […]
- A View From The Press Box #4 January 22, 2014In the 4th Edition of “A View From The Press Box” I feature a few photos from Monday night’s City Council meeting (Jan. 21) Similar to the council’s first gathering earlier this month, the meeting lasted nearly five hours and featured plenty of debate on several hot button issues such as development, parking and the […]
- A View From The Press Box #3 January 14, 2014In the 3rd Edition of “A View From The Press Box” I feature a few photos from the first official City Council meeting held Jan. 13. The meeting, which lasted nearly five hours, featured extensive discussion on how development is impacting the downtown. A View From The Press Box will feature occasional photos that I […]
- A View From The Press Box #2 January 10, 2014In the 2nd Edition of “A View From The Press Box” I feature a few photos I was able to snap during the Jan. 9 work session between the Planning Board, Historic District Commission and Economic Development Commission. The work session involved the highly anticipated North End Project, which involves a WholeFoods, a hotel, conference […]
- A View From The Press Box January 9, 2014Welcome to a new series I’ll be kicking off here on the Portsmouth City Blog. A View From The Press Box will feature occasional photos that I take right from my seat in the Press Box at Portsmouth City Hall. I must spend hours upon hours sitting in Council Chambers covering everything from council business […]
- City releases Annual Report January 6, 2014Want to know how many DWI arrests local police made in Fiscal Year 2013? How about how many fire calls the Fire Department responded to? For answers to these questions and more check out the city’s FY13 Annual Report at http://www.cityofportsmouth.com/annualreport/AnnualReport2013.pdf […]
- Holiday Parking Help December 4, 2013With the holiday’s fast approaching, here is some useful information that may help you as you attempt to navigate downtown Portsmouth looking for that elusive parking space. 1. Visit www.parkportsmouth.com for anything and everything to do with parking in Portsmouth, NH. 2. Beginning Dec. 16, motorists will be allowed to park for free at all […]
- Who gave what to who in the 2013 City Council election? November 20, 2013Here’s a look at the many campaign contributions claimed by candidates in the Nov. 5 municipal election…Enjoy Josh Denton Peter & Kathleen Somssich – $200 Julie & Cameron Parke – $300 Larry Drake – $100 Joe Plaia – $100 Robert & Elaine Denton – $500 Marc Denton – $575 Ariel Masafy – $100 Brett & […]
- City Council Endorsements October 30, 2013Here’s a look at “Who’s endorsed Who” The Portsmouth Professional Fire Fighters Local 1313 and Fire Officers Local 4039 *Josh Denton, Chris Dwyer, Robert Lister, Esther Kennedy, Gibson “Mike” Kennedy, Stefany Shaheen, Eric Spear, Jim Splaine and Ken Smith. Portsmouth Herald *Stefany Shaheen, Gibson “Mike” Kennedy, Eric Spear, Steve Taylor, Brad Lown, Chris D […]
- Local business endorses City Council candidates October 21, 2013The Portsmouth Health Food Store is endorsing a specific slate of candidates in the upcoming City Council election. The candidates were selected based on their “deep commitment to Smart Development and preservation of the city’s historic character” Candidates endorsed by PHF include: Esther Kennedy, Bob Lister, Ken Smith, Jim Splaine, Jack Thorsen, Joe Calda […]
- A View From The Press Box #5 February 5, 2014