Utility assessments remain hot topic in Coos County
At their June 11 meeting, the three-member county commission approved requests from the towns of Whitefield, Colebrook, Stark, Stratford, Pittsburg, Dalton and Dummer to help them pay their legal expenses as they respond to appeals by utilities.
Should the utilities prevail in their appeals to the New Hampshire Board of Tax and Land Appeals or at the NH Supreme Court, the prevailing wisdom is that the assessing communities can do one of two things: cut services or raise taxes, neither option being especially palatable.
In response to the DRA’s revaluation, a number of North Country lawmakers introduced House Bill 1590, which this past session was passed by both the House of Representatives and Senate. The bill is before Gov. Maggie Hassan, and both Frizzell and State Sen. Jeff Woodburn, D-Dalton, think she will sign it into law.
A self-described fan of PILOTs, Woodburn thinks more of them would mitigate the expense of communities contesting assessments at the BTLA or in court. He is not thrilled, however, with the county’s PILOT with GRP.
Conserving more land, Woodburn said, “doesn’t get our economy going or puts people to work, so that model we used in Dixville and Millsfield is not a model I would support going forward.”
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