by Kristen Homan
Litcheld residents will almostcertainly see their property taxesincrease this year. The town and BudgetCommittee both recommend an actualoperating budget of $5,045,145 for theyear, an increase from last year’s budgetof $4, 974, 847.According to town administrator Jason Hoch, the town receives about$2 million of that number from carregistrations and other non-tax relatedincomes. The remaining $3 million ismade up for in property taxes.The suggested budget, when boileddown represents a 26 cent increase forhomeowners in Litcheld. The tax ratewill increase to $3.83, up from $3.57 in2012. Homes valued at $300,000 couldexpect to see a tax bill of $1,150. Thosewith a home valued at $400,000 wouldpay $1,533, approximately $500 more.But the numbers are almostguaranteed to rapidly escalate, as vewarrant articles, include additional taxburdens. If all articles are approved,the total amount needed from propertytaxes jumps to $3,260,504. That tax ratewould be higher, at 3.99. This is a 39cent increase over last year’s budget.Warrant articles that do not carry anadditional tax burden if approved areArticle 7, which deals with the BuildingSystems Trust Fund, and Article 8, whichasks to repair the concrete entranceat the Town Hall and Police StationComplex. Funds for the project wouldcome from an unexpected fund balance,not from property taxes.Article 5 asks to appropriate $70,000to purchase new debrillator for the FireDepartment. The current debrillator isover a decade old. Both the Board of Selectmen and the Budget Committeerecommend the article.Article 6 requests $12,500 for theconstruction of a sidewalk alongPinecrest. When completed, thesidewalk will connect Litcheld MiddleSchool to Albuquerque Avenue andthe bike path. The Board of Selectmenrecommends the article and the BudgetCommittee does not recommend it.Article 9 asks for $20,000 to repaintthe old town hall on Route 3A. Thebuilding currently houses the LitcheldHistorical Society. The price includesthe proper removal of lead paint.Article 10 requests $10,000 beallocated for an engineering andplanning study to design possible sewersystems. The Board of Selectmanrecommends the action, while thebudget committee does not.While Warrant article 11 and 12were requested by the library, but at thegroup’s request were removed from theballot.Listed as Warrant Article 13, butslated to change numbers, regardsappropriating 4,952 at the Request of Human Service Industries including BigBrothers Big Sisters and other charitableorganizations in the area. Both boardsrecommend the action.Litcheld residents will get thechance to voice their opinions on thebudget and articles this Saturday atthe town deliberative session. Anychanges made to warrant articles will bereected on the ballot during the Marchelection.
LitchfeldResidents CanExpect to See
Though there are signs of economicimprovements, times remain tough. NHunemployment hovers around 6 percent, a fewpoints below the U.S. In the last decade, healthcare costs alone have grown 3 times the rate of wages. Incomes are eroding by the escalatingcost of living, state and federal taxes. ManyHudson residents nd their property tax burdensincreasingly prohibitive, particularly seniorstypically on xed incomes, who are eitherunwilling - or unable - to foot the property taxbills driven by the large and growing operationaltown and school budgets.Heading into the town deliberative sessionHudson Selectmen and Budget Committee havecrafted a $28.8M budget, representing a tax rateof $6.28 or modest 1 cent increase over FY 2013.However, several proposed town warrant articles,including a tax impact of 14 cents for wage andbenet increases (support: 1 cent; supervisory: 3cents; reghters: 4 cents; and police: 6 cents);and a Senior Center/Cable Facility (about 5 cents),if passed, can hike the tax rate up to $6.47. Thisroughly translates into a potentially $50 highertax bill on the town side for the average Hudsonhousehold.The proposed total school budget, for theFebruary 9 school deliberative session, is $47.7M,representing a considerable $0.61 increase onthe tax rate, and a 3.82 percent increase overthe 2012- 2013 budget. Most of this increase($1.37M) is from contractually obligated salariesand benets, with all else rising 0.8 percent or$378,683. In addition, several warrant articles,include possible tax impact increases for teachercontracts (18 cents); PSRP or Para contracts (1.5cents); and the district feasibility study (9.8 cents).If all warrants are voted in, the potential increaseto the school tax rate may reach 90.3 cents,resulting in about a $225 increase to the averageHudson taxpayer.Beyond Hudson borders, it is critical tocompare tax rates and educational measurementsto equalized school districts. As shown, despitecomplaints, Hudson maintains relatively low townand school tax rates.
School Warrant Article 5 Part Two: Framework and Counterpoint
A Glimpse of Taxes, Equalized District Comparisons and Demographics
by Marc Ayotte
On a brisk, blustery, but sunny Januarymorning, scores of residents from Hudson andsurrounding towns came out to Benson Park torace their homemade cardboard sleds in supportof a fundraiser event in memory of Mallory Gray.According to Hudson resident Jeremy Griffus,who organized this event and is a member of the volunteer group aptly named Mal’s Pals, theproceeds of the race and other events are going tothe construction of a lasting memorial in the formof a new amphitheater on the park grounds.Mallory Gray died of leukemia at the tenderage of 13, but as Griffus indicated, “growing up,Mallory was an inspiration to her family, friends,classmates, teachers and doctors. She has left animpression on the hearts and lives of all who havebeen lucky enough to have known her.”On Sunday, January 27, a total of 22 registeredcontestants participated in what was ofcially theSecond Annual Hudson Cool Runnings sled race.The event began in 2011, but was not held lastyear due to the shortage of snow on the short, butentertaining course. The materials eligible in thedesign and construction of the sleds were simple;cardboard, duct tape, an adhesive, and paint.There were a wide variety of shapes and themesentered into the race with some of them beingnished just moments before registration; “whatsome of these kids came up with just using thosefew materials is pretty neat,” noted Griffus, adding“some of them you can smell the fresh paint.”After registering their sleek and streamlined (andsome not so much so) vessels, children of all agesparaded their entries to the starting line. Witha small snow-compacted ramp to launch theirrun, the contestants received supportive ‘nudges’,aiding their trek down the hill to the nish line.And on a couple of occasions, there were someentertaining but harmless mishaps, including a rollover involving Hudson Town Selectman Ben
Mal’s Pals Fundraiser at Benson Par
continued to page 6- Framework and Counterpoint
by Len Lathrop
Sad events bring outthe “special people,”those who know howto make things happen.Sometimes those peopleare right around thecorner. Often, theirgifts are priceless. Thisis a story about someof those people. MeetStar, an Indian MedicineHat horse, who nowlives in Hudson and isthe personal horse of aspecial girl.
Those Who Make Life Bright
McKenzie Lowe and Star
continued to page 7- McKenzie and Star
Hockey is back and brothers Evan and Connor Magovern zipped their Bruins zamboni to the fnish line in seven seconds at Straight rom NASA, the shuttle did eventually arrive saely with ‘slide crew’ intact at the fnish line Hudson Selectman Ben ‘Crash’ Nadeau is involved in a stylish fnishat the second Annual Hudson Cool Runnings in Benson Park
continued to page 9- Mal’s Race
s t a f f p h o t o s b y L e n L a t h r o p s t a f f p h o t o s b y M a r c A y o t t e
Last week, the
featured an introduction to School Board Warrant Article 5 (HLN, 1/25/13, pg. 1), regarding a proposed district feasibility study;it provided key initial ndings from the Task Force and an overview of issue, largely from its proponents. In the second of this two-part analysis, the HLN presents the initiative beyond the district perspective, withinthe context of the Hudson community and framework of local data points. It also offers counterpoints from the projected study’s central opponentsin the Hudson Board of Selectmen and Budget Committee, as well as comments from the Hudson business community and several citizens.