By Kimberly Morin
Yesterday a video of a Manchester Committee meeting was posted to YouTube. The meeting took place on May 24th but there was extremely disturbing and interesting commentary made by a Manchester Alderman. Apparently, the topic was property taxes and tax credits for the elderly. The meeting was a Joint Committee Meeting on Education. Education being the largest chunk of expense for any property taxes.
Alderman Christopher Herbert (Democrat), who is also a New Hampshire State Representative, decided that the elderly should just GET OUT rather than be given tax credits. Many towns will give the elderly tax credits because they are often on fixed incomes and most towns rarely decrease property taxes but continually raise them, making it unaffordable for the elderly who have lived in the towns for decades.
Herbert decided to rail against his elderly neighbor who apparently owns a home but can’t afford the property taxes on it. Rather than give her a tax credit, he believes she should GET OUT. From the video:
I’ve got an 85 year old woman that lives across the street, and, and she won’t give up her house, she’s sitting on $350,000 dollars and she can’t afford it anymore and you’re saying (pointing to Alderwoman Shaw) give her a tax credit….NO, we should have a program that GETS HER OUT OF THE HOUSE….. I mean, we need to get new people to come in and, and, ‘occupy’ those houses. We can’t be run by the elderly in a city…that, that, that’s foolishness.
So, Herbert wants a program that will kick the elderly out of the homes they probably paid off years ago because he’d rather get new people into the homes; people who may be able to afford to pay the property taxes no matter how much they are increased. He doesn’t say where exactly he’d like to put these elderly residents he wants to kick out but he mentions communities in Florida.
These are people who probably worked hard their entire lives; took care of their homes; raised their families; paid their homes off and are now enjoying retirement and reaping the benefits of years of hard work. Unfortunately, when the elderly are on a fixed income, even if they have no mortgage, property taxes can still be excessive and burdensome. Many cities and towns make decisions to give the elderly tax credits on their properties in these cases by setting them up with commercial bookkeeping in Milton to help them arrange their finances, if that is what they need.
Apparently Herbert believes the elderly should simply be replaced with new occupants. It seems he only has a use for the elderly when they can continue to fund the excessive spending of Manchester Aldermen such as himself.