Home > Uncategorized > Watchdog.org Acknowledges NH Public Schools “Pretty Great”, While Lamenting High Property Tax Burden, Overlooking Lack of Broad-Based Taxes

Watchdog.org Acknowledges NH Public Schools “Pretty Great”, While Lamenting High Property Tax Burden, Overlooking Lack of Broad-Based Taxes

August 2, 2018

Watchdog.org reporter Dave Lemery wrote a post yesterday acknowledging that NH public schools were “pretty great” based on the independent assessment completed by WalletHub. But somehow his post concluded that the property tax burdens in the state warranted legislative remedy to reduce costs:

But paying for all of this high achievement may be leaving New Hampshire residents with a bit of heartburn. According to Tax-Rates.org, Granite Staters effectively pay the second-highest rate of property taxes in the nation, behind only New Jersey….

Two potential solutions for lowering school costs come from the nonprofit Granite Institute, a nonprofit public policy organization. The advocacy group put out a pair of reports late last year on charter schoolsand education savings accounts and the advantages of pursuing both strategies.

But Mr. Lemery’s analysis of the tax burdens overlooked a fact he cited from the WalletHub report:

“For the majority of U.S. families, public education is the only option,” the report states. “But the quality of public school systems varies widely from state to state and is often a question of funding. … According to the U.S. Department of Education, states contribute nearly as much as local governments,while the federal government supplies the smallest share.”

As readers of this blog and fellow NH residents realize, New Hampshire has no broad based taxes at all! It has no sales tax and no income tax. Needless to say, New Hampshire does not “contribute nearly as much as local governments” when it comes to school fundingIndeed, some school districts in New Hampshire get less from the state than they get from the federal government and few get “nearly as much” from the State as they get from their local tax base. That leads to a situation where tax starved districts– which invariably serve children raised in poverty– have inordinately high property tax rates that yield far lower revenues for schools than property rich districts.

To bloggers like me, this situation is unfair and can only be solved by wholesale tax reform which would likely require a broad-based tax of some kind. To bloggers like those serving in “independent news sources” like Watchdog.org, any taxes are a burden.

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