Letter: Dispute is a complex issue
To the editor,
My name was mentioned in a recent editorial about the challenge Lyndeborough and Wilton face after the school portion of the tax rate was incorrectly established back in 2010. I write today as a citizen, not as a town employee.
The view I expressed back in May reflected a desire to make things right after Lyndeborough was the recipient of a tax break at Wilton’s expense due to an error in developing the tax rate at the Dept. of Education. The question was: at this late date how can this be accomplished? When the two Boards of Selectmen met later on it was evident the solution was not clear. The two town counsels were asked for advice.
On the surface it may seem reasonable that the Selectmen simply find a way to make things right and do it. But states are divided into two camps. Home rule states and non-home rule states. New Hampshire is the latter. That means towns only have the authority to act where the state legislature has given them specific authority to do so. In this instance, attorney Drescher could not find that specific authority for Lyndeborough. That being the case, the Selectmen have not felt they could move forward and I don’t blame them. Given there are legal interpretations at issue, Wilton has decided the legal system should look at this matter and rule. That seems perfectly sensible from their perspective.
Hopefully each side will respect the difficult position the other is in and continue to cooperate with one another recognizing each is confined right now by the law and are doing what they feel the law requires, as is their duty.