By S.D. Plissken | February 23, 2020
The Milton Town warrant has upon it several articles with competing ideas that cannot be reconciled. This one concerns forcing most taxpayers to subsidize the particular “hobby horse” of a few.
The world is not on fire, nor is it going to end in ten or eleven years. These are false notions that can be denied, both easily and truthfully.
Who can even say what the “correct” temperature is or should be? It has been within quite a wide range during humanity’s tenure. There is a strong natural bias towards the temperature prevailing “now” as being the ideal one, but that is all it is, just a bias. I believe they call it a normalcy bias: a bias in favor of that with which one is familiar.
The Roman empire encountered what might be called adverse climate change in the late fourth and early fifth centuries. In Roman Britain, the warmer trend prevailing up to that time had allowed for an expansion of farming to formerly marginal upland areas. They even had viniculture, which requires warmer temperatures. Its population boomed, as did that of the Roman empire in general.
Then the climate cooled. Yes, temperatures cooled towards what they are now. The Romans were not best pleased with the change. It became harder to sustain populations that had expanded under what the Romans had regarded as “optimal” conditions. The barbarians became restless and advanced across Roman frontiers. The Romans pulled out of Britain in 409 A.D. They left a nice note, advising the Britons to take care of themselves.
The same thing happened later with the Greenland Viking settlements. They established settlements there that lasted for hundreds of years. Then the prevailing temperatures cooled, again towards the ones experienced now. The Viking settlements struggled against this cooling trend, but their populations dwindled and finally they just “winked out.” Current temperatures were just too cold for them.
Article #23 seeks to socialize the expense of owning so-called “Green” technologies. It might be more accurate to say that it seeks to “further” socialize them, to the Town level, as the Federal government is already subsidizing them to the tune of 30% off. State governments are on the bandwagon too.
Article 23: Optional Tax Exemption: Solar, Wind-Powered, Wood Heating Systems (Submitted by Petition).
To see if the town will vote to adopt the provisions of RSA 72:61 through RSA 72:72 inclusively, which provide for an optional property tax exemption from the property’s assessed value, for property tax purposes, for persons owning real property, which is equipped with solar energy systems, wind-powered energy systems or wood heating systems intended for use at the immediate site. Such property tax exemption shall be in the amount of 100% of the assessed value of qualifying equipment under these statutes. (Majority vote required).
Estimated tax impact is $0.74 (Seventy-four Cents).
Not recommended by the Board of Selectmen (0,3,0). [Amended to 2,1,0, Chairman Thibeault and Selectman Rawson voting to recommend that Milton taxpayers subsidize these energy systems, while Vice-Chairwoman Hutchings declined to do so].
Not Recommended by the Budget Committee (0,4,3).
The “estimated tax impact” is a bit deceptive. (But no more than the amounts estimated by the Town in general). That would be the estimated tax impact at the current numbers of such systems. Were those numbers to increase, then the tax impact would increase correspondingly.
Town taxes are as high as they are due to excessive Town budgets. Do not be sidetracked by variations in rates and valuations. Those are factors only in covering ever-increasing Town budgets. Despite what some Selectmen have put forward, it is not an accomplishment to lower the rate slightly while increasing the valuation greatly. (Be sure to ask “The Question” (of last year) of any and all candidates).
The Town taxes anything not nailed down, literally. People have been heard asking about structures on wheels. Why would two Selectmen recommend that “Green” systems be exempted from valuation and, therefore, exempted from their taxation?
One might answer that 1) this does not affect them: their Town budgets can still increase despite this measure, and 2) they believe in Global Warming (or its necessary rebranding as Global Climate Change) or, at least, they would like to “signal” that they do.
This measure absolutely does not reduce taxes by the value of these energy systems, it merely “redistributes” those taxes onto the backs of those that do not have them. Those who do not believe that the earth is on fire will be forced to subsidize the “Green” energy beliefs of those who do.
If one does believe in Global Climate Change, one should put one’s own money where one’s mouth is, rather than forcibly appropriating the money of others for that purpose.
“There are two fundamentally opposed means whereby man, requiring sustenance, is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires. These are work and robbery, one’s own labor and the forcible appropriation of the labor of others.” – Franz Oppenheimer
Fall of Civilizations. (2019, March 25). 4. Greenland Vikings – Land of the Midnight Sun. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=dep69ARBNpE