DOVER — For local supporters of a tax cap, the recent Supreme Court ruling that tax caps are in conflict with state law is not the final word in the matter.
The decision was made Wednesday in response to a yearlong case involving the Manchester and the citizen group Keep Manchester Moving, which opposed the cap.
The court found a conflict between state law and the language of the city’s tax and spending cap, which was passed in 2009 as an amendment to the city’s charter, regarding how a strong mayor form of government in a city should function.
While the tax cap charter amendment requires a two-thirds vote of the City Council to override the cap, state law dictates city budgets should pass on a simple majority vote, according to the Supreme Court decision.
Towns and cities around the state with tax caps are now going back to the language to see how the ruling may affect them. As Manchester’s strong mayor government (the mayor gets a vote) differs from some cities such as Somersworth, which has a weak mayor form (mayor doesn’t get a vote), it is unclear who will be affected, if at all.
Senate Republicans have already vowed to create legislation that will clear up the discrepancy.