Impact on taxpayers must be considered
We have a big concern for the potential and likely increases in our real estate taxes in Nashua as a result of bonding for new projects.
The funding of police, fire, education and public works is essential. Other important city activities (e.g., social services, parks and library) should be funded at a reasonable level.
New projects must be strongly justified if the real estate taxpayer becomes the sole or primary funding contributor to the project.
The idea of a new performing arts center is a fine concept. Who pays for it is our primary concern.
Many of the advocates for the center have a vested interest in the project. The assumption is that the center will bring more income to the businesses in downtown, and will bring more businesses as well. We are not against a vibrant downtown. But, we are not in favor of taking on any debt so businesses can increase their viability or profits.
We believe the city should help facilitate the city’s infrastructure to accommodate such a center, but not pay for the center. With a public-private partnership with the center’s future business owners, Nashua could modify the streets, parking areas, etc. to accommodate the center. The question is, how much more would this effort cost the homeowner tax payer? The future November non-binding referendum for the center should include what the tax impact is on the individual homeowner (think mill levy increase).
Elm Street Middle School may have a forthcoming need for bonding of $50-plus million for repairs/upgrades? In our opinion, this bonding issue is more important than bonding for the center. We suspect other Nashua schools need repairs and upgrades as well.
Was purchase of the Burke Street property bonded? Is the property going to be used for a strongly justified purpose? Otherwise, the property should be sold.
If we heard correctly at the Sept. 12 Aldermen meeting, the mayor indicated the city pays $19 million per year against bonds. We disagree that the city should continue to pay a fixed $19 million per year against bonds for the foreseeable future. Why not bring the tax rate down when a bonded item is paid off?