Officials: Tax exemptions make Manchester magnet for elderly, veterans and the disabled
Facing a budget that is expected to be tight, city officials are looking at ways to find money other than raising the tax rate, which is limited by a tax cap.
The resident tax was mandatory until 1986, when the Legislature made it optional. Manchester was one of the first cities to opt out. Collections was a big reason, said one veteran city official.
Martineau said the city often over-estimated collections and would have to make up the money somewhere else when the revenue fell short. Martineau said the assessors would periodically abate, or wipe out, uncollected resident taxes.
Exemptions comprise 2.2 percent of the city's tax base, according to a compilation made by the city of Concord. Nashua followed at 1.6 percent. The lowest was Loudon, at 0.1 percent."The disabled exemption seems to be way out of whack," said Alderman Pat Long, who asked for more information on the exemptions. But he, like Alderman Barbara Shaw, said he'd like to make it easier for elderly people to obtain exemptions.
Other possible revenue generators:
• Auto registration renewals. The Tax Collector could generate $80,000 if it levied a $1 fee on residents when they renewed their auto registration;
• and advertising. Ads could be distributed with city registrations, and the city could distribute pouches for registration paperwork that included advertising. Potential income — $50,000.
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