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Letter

Writer opened an old wound

To the editor:

I read with much interest L. Phillips Runyon III’s Dec. 19 letter in which he took the MacDowell Colony to task for not making voluntary financial contributions to the town of Peterborough. I am not a Peterborough resident, but I grew up there and maintain a strong tie to the community.

Almost seven years ago Hillsborough Superior Court declared the Colony free of local property tax obligation and the New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld the decision on appeal. Many people had strong feelings about this case, but they accepted the decision of the courts and have moved on to new issues and challenges. I don’t understand why Mr. Runyon wants to reopen the case and try it in the court of public opinion. It is like opening and old wound and rubbing salt into it.

I also don’t understand Mr. Runyon’s logic that the Colony should make voluntary “payment in lieu of taxes” because he considers it to have large financial assets. Should a local church or fraternal organization with large assets be forthcoming with property taxes? Should local residents with large assets pay extra taxes?

Mr. Runyon is now sending to the town of Peterborough the money he formerly contributed to the Colony — to help cover the services he thinks the Colony should pay. It is very clear he would like us to do the same. I am doubling my annual contribution to the Colony to make up for the shortfall created by Mr. Runyon — and I strongly urge you to do the same. It won’t cost an extra dollar to double your contribution if you follow Mr. Runyon’s tax advice on his website (runyonlawoffice.com) where he explains how to minimize your income tax payments to Uncle Sam.

Thomas Dart

Portsmouth

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