Advisory #1 from Newton-Kingston Taxpayers

Voting is March 12, 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM.

Absentee ballots are available through town hall.

NKTA has worked to restrain tax growth over the past 5 years. The rate of increase is lessened, and much more needs to be done.

Here in New Hampshire, Voters have a lot of control over their local government and schools.
Each March, the ballot booths open for local voting on budgets, candidates and other proposals for their tax dollars. The decisions made at the polls each year determine over 90% of our local property taxes. They also determine how and what kind of forward planning will be implemented, as well as who will be leading the day-to-day decision-making in our towns and School District over the coming year.

This year, there are candidates who are running for School Board and School Budget Committee positions, for Town Selectmen, Planning Boards, and other Town officials. Bring your id and vote between 8 AM and 8 PM, at the Swasey Gym in Kingston and at Newton Town Hall.

The proposed budgets, set for approval in the Deliberative Sessions held in February, will be before you in the voting booths. In both the School District voting and in Newton, the estimated tax impact is on the ballot, as well as the estimated impact of budget defeat. If a budget is defeated, the default budget will come into effect at the beginning of the fiscal year beginning in 2019. In Kingston, no estimated tax impact information is given.

The rest of the warrant articles follow, each needing your vote. In both towns, there are several warrants articles that appear each year. Kingston has several Reserve Funds which operate like savings accounts. For instance, if approved, Article 13 will authorize the purchase of land with no new tax impact, because it will be purchased with money in a savings account called a Capital Reserve fund.

Newton used Capital Reserves to purchase a new fire truck a couple of years ago. Because of a warrant to build a new fire station, the town held off on asking to start refurbishing that fund. This year, they are resuming that practice with Article 15.

The Sanborn Regional School District is seeking to fund reserve accounts as well, with articles 9 & 10. The proposal is to use monies left unspent at year-end, rather than raise additional taxes. It will still be taxpayer money, just not new money. Instead of giving some of the money back as a tax credit at yearend, it will be retained in savings accounts.

Very important this year are two proposed staff contracts in the School District, one for teachers and one for the support staff. Both have total projected increases close to inflation, based on current staffing, restrained in part by a small increase in the rate of employee insurance contributions.

Also on the ballot is a proposed removal of the word “elementary” from the School District Articles of Agreement. The District is currently noncompliant with State Law and this change will bring the District into compliance. It also opens up possibility for future redistribution of our resources for maximum educational impact for the dollars we invest.

BE SURE TO VOTE. If you will be out of town all day, you can get an absentee ballot.