The Litchfield Board of Selectmen is seeking the consensus of Litchfield’s residents on the warrant article 16 concerning the town’s possible adoption of a tax cap. Under state law, RSA 32:5b allows municipalities to implement a cap limiting the growth of taxes either through a percentage or dollar increase. If this warrant is approved, the Litchfield Board of Selectmen will bring forward a warrant article formally proposing a specific tax cap for the voter’s consideration at the 2016 Town Meeting.
The Board of Selectmen had considered bring this article forward for the past two years but was concerned about what we viewed as technical problems with the existing law. That law was modified by the legislature last year and the Selectmen believe that these changes addressed the concerns. A tax cap for our Town would limit the amount of money in the budget and warrants able to be recommended by the Budget Committee but would not restrict what voters could consider at Town deliberative session. In other words, if there is a strong case for a budget need exceeding the cap, the citizens can consider the facts and make the best decision.
If this year’s article is approved, the Board of Selectmen will suggest a percentage or dollar amount as the “cap” limit. Voters will have a choice of amending the “cap” number at the Deliberative Session which will then go to the ballot.
Warrant article 16 is an important warrant for the town’s voters and provide us as Selectmen with your guidance as to how you wish us to proceed.