CONCORD – House Speaker Shawn Jasper and leaders of the House Finance Committee today announced details of two initiatives to be included in the House version of the state budget bills that will focus on returning money back to cities and towns. In addition to existing programs directing funds to municipalities for education funding, meals and rooms tax revenue distribution, and road betterment funds, these House budget provisions propose to increase state aid.
- $25 million per year in direct aid to cities and towns to assist with property tax relief.
- Up to $50 million from FY 2017 will be set aside to assist municipalities with infrastructure improvements, which may include roads, bridges, schools and other core projects essential to communities.
“We are committed to increasing aid to cities and towns in an effort to provide some relief to property taxpayers. With an aging population, we need to protect our seniors’ ability to stay in their homes,” said House Speaker Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson), “We also need to keep home ownership affordable for the workers and young families we need to retain in our state in order to sustain our economy. These programs will offset costs that our municipalities incur, and we hope they are the driving force in local decisions to ease the burden on local property taxpayers.”
“House members will not only be voting on a fiscally responsible budget that meets the needs of our state. This will be a vote for or against sending more money back to the communities they represent,” said House Finance committee chairman Rep. Neal Kurk (R-Weare), “Our job is to provide essential state services while keeping government affordable. The House is moving forward on the governor’s call to assist cities and towns, protect property taxpayers, and make cost effective investments in infrastructure at the local level.”
Division I of the House Finance committee will review formulas and methods for distributing the $25 million annual aid package. The proposed infrastructure program will likely utilize distribution formulas already in statute, such as those prescribed in RSA 235:23, Construction and Reconstruction Aid. These programs are in addition to municipal grant and aid funding already in place, including education aid, highway block grant aid, meals and rooms tax distribution, and other state aid programs.