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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Monitor Editorial on State Budget

The Concord Monitor's editorial page weighs on in Governor Lynch's budget proposal, and concludes that the revenue sharing ideas in it would pass along the state's budget burden to local property tax payers:
The policy makes it unlikely that school districts could use stimulus money to lower the school portion of the tax rate to offset an increase on the municipal side of the ledger, a strategy Lynch describes as moving money into "the right buckets." But only nine of the state's 234 municipalities have one board that oversees both the city and school budget and it's unlikely that many school boards, having suffered from inadequate state funding for decades, are going to turn the additional revenue over to municipalities without a fight.
Lynch's latest plan would mean less pain for cities and towns, but they'll still lose money. The state has plenty of revenue-raising options. It should employ those rather than taking money away from local governments, which have but one way to raise revenue - by increasing property taxes.

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