1 Junkins Ave., Portsmouth, NH, 03801, Tel: (603) 610-7281Fax: (603) 427-1575 Email: Coalition@ch.cityofportsmouth.com

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Sen. Hollingworth First to Respond to Education Funding Survey

July 5, 2002

PORTSMOUTH, NH - Sen. Beverly Hollingworth, a Democratic candidate for Governor, on Friday became the first gubernatorial candidate to reply to the Coalition Communities' survey on the education funding issue and strongly supported the Coalition's goal of overturning the statewide property tax. Hollingworth responded yes to both questions on the "Where do you stand on the State Property Tax?" questionnaire mailed to gubernatorial candidates earlier in the week:
  • If elected Governor: will you support and sign legislation that would sunset the state property tax as of April 1, 2004?
  • If elected Governor: will you veto the next biennium budget for Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005 if it utilizes the state property tax as a revenue source in Fiscal Year 2005?
"I am extremely pleased that Senator Hollingworth supports the goal of ending the state's overreliance on property taxes to fund state and local services," said Mayor Evelyn Sirrell, leader of the Coalition. "We very much look forward to hearing from the other candidates for Governor on this complicated education funding issue, which the polls show is No. 1 in the minds of voters. High property taxes are hurting the people in every single community in New Hampshire."

The candidates have been asked to reply by July 17. The Coalition, a group of 34 communities across the state, also is developing surveys for candidates for the New Hampshire House and Senate. The surveys are part of the Coalition's effort to educate the voters about where the candidates stand on the education funding issue.

The statewide property tax originally was implemented as a temporary measure, but the Legislature made it permanent in June 2001. The Coalition wants to see the sunset resurrected, but is supporting a delayed implementation until Fiscal Year 2005 in order not to cause a funding gap in the current State budget and to give the new Legislature time to make up the shortfall. If this legislative effort fails, however, the Governor could lead the effort to eliminate the tax by vetoing the next biennium budget.

" Our Coalition, and all the homeowners in our state, want to see a long-term sustainable solution that actually supports education," Sirrell said. "I hope all of the candidates for Governor will agree that New Hampshire should be first in supporting the education of our children, instead of leading the nation in relying on property taxes to fund state and local services."

The Coalition Communities are Alton, Bridgewater, Carroll, Center Harbor, Dublin, Easton, Eaton, Franconia, Freedom, Grantham, Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Hanover, Hart's Location, Hebron, Jackson, Lincoln, Meredith, Moultonborough, New Castle, New London, Newington, North Hampton, Pittsburg, Portsmouth, Rye, Sandwich, Seabrook, Stoddard, Sugar Hill, Sunapee, Tuftonboro and Waterville Valley. --30--


 1 Junkins Ave., Portsmouth, NH, 03801, Tel: (603) 610-7281Fax: (603) 427-1575 Email: Coalition@ch.cityofportsmouth.com