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Golden geese look to take wing

A couple of times before, I've written about Killington, Vermont's attempts to secede from Vermont and join New Hampshire to escape what they view as abusive, confiscatory, unfair taxes.

Apparently, the thought is spreading. Sunapee, New Hampshire, is a small town of about 3,000 people in the Monadnock region of the state (south-western area). They are part of Sullivan County, but want the state to allow them to secede and join Merrimack County. Their beef: they get about 2% of county services, have about 8% of the county's population, and pay about 25% of the county's taxes. They feel they're being exploited, and want it to stop.

In a similar vein, McGehee notes that Alaska is considering a law that would require cities and towns that wish to annex outlying areas to gain the assent of those who actually would be subsumed. Apparently under current Alaska law, these municipalities can find a wealthy area around them and just grab them into their tax base without even a by-your-leave, and this has aggravated some of those who have been assimilated into the collectives.

Both these moves are, to me, good things. They show a return to grass-roots government, of people asserting their individual rights and standing up to what they perceive as abuses by bigger governments.

I'm gonna predict that Sunapee's case won't fly, based on New Hampshire's tendency to let things lie if they can possibly can. I think they'll win some concessions from Sullivan County, but they won't leave. And I don't know enough about Alaskan politics to even speculate, but I think I'll trust McGehee to keep us up to date.


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Comments (14)

Hmmm.Well Sunapee ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Well Sunapee is the "resort" town of the area and, I think, has the highest home values.

Frankly I can't say that I approve of this.

Essentially Sullivan County is pretty rural and hasn't had the greatest time economically. Sunapee is really a high income area, in comparison, with the rest of the county. So yes it pays more per household, but what kind of county services are they expecting with only 3k people? Are they really expecting the county to spend 25% of it's budget to make 3k people happy?

If you really want to hear them scream just tell them they can go ahead and move into another county. But the *lake* remains in Sullivan county and if they so much as stick a toe into it, they have to pay for a permit.

This is just another example of the Hamptons effect. Wealthy landowners viewing having regular people on the same taxbase as "oppression".

The San Fernando Valley por... (Below threshold)
BigFire:

The San Fernando Valley portion of Los Angeles received about 20% of city & police services. It accounts for about 40% of city revenue. It's just a far off cash cow that doesn't need minding.

ed...perhaps they would lik... (Below threshold)
Salopard:

ed...perhaps they would like to get about 8% of the resources and pay about 8% of the revenue, as they are 8% of the population...

would that be unreasonable?

Surprising, Texas has some ... (Below threshold)
KBiel:

Surprising, Texas has some loopy laws about annexation of unincorporated land. Land owners in a prospective area to be annexed have very little recourse here. At least, the laws also require the city to provide emergency and utility services, though not immediately.

I always thought of Cheshir... (Below threshold)
LJD:

I always thought of Cheshire county as the "Monadnock Region" and Sunapee as, well, the Sunapee region. As in, say the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway...
Anyhoo, Folks from Mass, CT, NY love to come to these towns with their huge SUVs, fur coats, and City dollars, and buy up the pricey resort properties. This drives up property values, and tax revenues. The flip side of that, is that many of the local folks have trouble affording the increases.
Opression of the wealthy, wow, what a concept.

How progressive can the tax... (Below threshold)
Sam:

How progressive can the tax system get before the rich walk away from the table? People will only take so much abuse.

Opression of the wealthy... (Below threshold)

Opression of the wealthy, wow, what a concept.

As your own previous sentence indicates, it's not only the wealthy who are getting shafted...

New Hampshire also has a st... (Below threshold)
Kirk:

New Hampshire also has a state policy of doner and receiver towns. If you happen to live in a town designated as a doner you pay more in taxes than your town recieves. You pay this higher rate even if you don't live in a fancy house and have lived in that town long before it became relatively well off.

Hmmmm."ed...perhap... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

"ed...perhaps they would like to get about 8% of the resources and pay about 8% of the revenue, as they are 8% of the population...

would that be unreasonable?"

I'll accept that if NH institutes a 5% gross income tax on all income over $40k per year, regardless of where it is earned. Ask the people in Sunapee if they'd prefer that instead.

Unless things have changed since I left NH, the state doesn't have an income tax. All municpal and county services are paid for by property taxes. If you live on prime real estate, including lakefront property, that people value highly, then you're going to pay for it. Don't like it? Don't live there.

Hell I live in New Jersey so I'm more than familiar with excessive taxation. But you can argue principles all you like, but there's a great difference between having a theoretical principle and actually making it work. And having a principle of paying for only those services you get is a nice principle, but I'd like to see people actually make it work in governance.

Hmmmm."How progres... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

"How progressive can the tax system get before the rich walk away from the table? People will only take so much abuse."

Where do they plan to go?

Someplace cheaper.... (Below threshold)
fatman:

Someplace cheaper.

Hmmm."Someplace ch... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

"Someplace cheaper."

They already did that, that's why they purchased property in Sunapee and not in Manhattan.

With apologies to Yogi Berr... (Below threshold)
fatman:

With apologies to Yogi Berra:

Nobody lives in Manhatten anymore, it's too crowded.

Seriously, there's always a... (Below threshold)
fatman:

Seriously, there's always another Vail or Branson or Sunapee just waiting to be discovered by the swells. Just ask anybody who can remember Atlantic City's heyday.




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