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Manchester proposed tax cap heads to court

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July 9, 2009

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire: City of Manchester aldermen voted against rescinding a court petition that argues that a spending cap ballot referendum is unconstitutional. The ballot measure is slated to be on the November ballot. The tax cap proposes to tie city spending to inflation, plus population growth.[1] Local activists said that they have been trying to get the tax cap on the ballot for about a year and argue that the aldermen are trying to kill the measure by taking the issue to court. "It has become very clear that there are at least seven Alderman (who) will stop at nothing to deprive the voters of Manchester the opportunity to vote on a spending cap," said Mike Biundo, the proposal's author and chairman of the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition. The aldermen voted 5 to 7 against withdrawing the petition sent to the Hillsborough County Superior Court. But, City Solicitor Tom Clark argues that the proposal is "not in conformance with the laws of the state of New Hampshire," citing a similar Concord proposal that was ruled unconstitutional by a Merrimack County Superior Court judge. Previously, three state agencies, including the attorney general's Office, have found the proposal constitutional.[2]

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* New Hampshire local ballot measures