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Concord City Council Approves New Fees, Some Fee Increases

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Concord City Council Approves New Fees, Some Fee Increases


CONCORD, NH — The Concord City Council on Monday approved increases in fees for some city services, created several new fee structures, and left some alone during its regular monthly meeting.

About 40 different fees, fines, and penalties for community development, the fire department, general services, and the legal department were eyed by the councilors. Recommendations by city staff included no increase, 100 percent increases, and smaller amounts between about 4 percent and 25 percent. Some fees have not been increased since 2007; others were last increased in 2015.

The proposal also included new fees such as several nonrefundable application fees for building and code services for staff time spent processing an application ($30); $445 to $890 annual monitoring charge radio box by the fire department for building owners that have not installed wired master boxes systems by July 1; $5 and $6 fees for plan copy per page fees and digital USB files for code administration and building codes, now that the department can print large format plans; and a $20 maximum fine for library of things, since the library has increased its collection.

Find out what’s happening in Concordwith free, real-time updates from Patch.


The Proposed Ordinance & Non-Ordinance Based Fee Changes can be found linked here on the city’s website, in PDF.

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City Manager Tom Aspell said departments look at all the ordnance and non-ordinance fees annually and make decisions on whether to leave them alone or raise them based on inflation, market conditions, or other factors.

Find out what’s happening in Concordwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Ward 5 Concord City Councilor Stacey Brown asked Aspell if developers were required to pay for traffic studies as part of the fee structure.

Matt Walsh, the deputy city manager of development, said, if the real estate project requires a traffic study, the city would review it and the developer would have to conduct one. If an outside review is required, the developer would be charged a fee, he said. The city also charges transportation impact fees, particularly for residential projects.

Roy Schweiker, a resident who regularly participates in city council meetings, said he was surprised at how few and how small the increases were, including some that were not being increased at all. Some, he said, were increased as little as 4 percent, and it was his general impression that the cost of doing business in the city was much higher than 4 percent. City departments where employees were getting bonuses were seeing a lot higher costs, too, he said.

“The problem is,” Schweiker said, “to the extent that we don’t collect the money in fees, it’s got to be paid out of the property tax. So, I guess, I would say, raised all these fees and raise them some more to make sure we are getting our expenses recovered and not getting them stuck on the rest of us.”

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Schweiker said the fee for sewer hookups should also include the costs of expanding the sewer, which should be paid for by developers.

During the action phase, Ward 3 City Councilor Jennifer Kretovic said there were 12 new fees and was not sure if Schweiker’s comments were accurate due to those new fees.

Brown asked for clarification about sewer hookup fees, and Walsh said there were fees — including tiers. The city, he said, does not have impact water and sewer fees, per se, but did have water and sewer investment fees that were collected, but the council moved away from them years ago. It could, however, be revisited.

The proposal was then approved unanimously.

Other Public Hearings, Actions

The council approved a transfer of $65,722.88 from the wastewater fund to the capital fund.

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The council approved reorganizing the general services highways and utilities division due to a long-time employee retiring. Aspell was asked by Ward 1 Councilor Brent Todd why the issue was being brought up now instead of when the budget hearings start later this week. Aspell said it was an opportunity to save money because of a vacancy. Todd also asked about the pavement painting and whether this would be sped up due to the changes. Aspell said it would vary between after street sweeping was completed, whether the weather was appropriate, and the need for better fog lines and markings when school starts in late August. Brown asked if there would be an updated budget, and Brian Lebrun, the deputy city manager of finance, said the changes would be reflected in the fiscal year 2025.

Do you have a news tip? Please email it to tony.schinella@patch.com. View videos on Tony Schinella’s YouTube.com channel or Rumble.com channel. Follow the NH politics Twitter account @NHPatchPolitics for all our campaign coverage.


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New Hampshire

Experts eye tax changes ahead of Trump-era cuts’ sunset • New Hampshire Bulletin

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Experts eye tax changes ahead of Trump-era cuts’ sunset • New Hampshire Bulletin


WASHINGTON – The race to harness the tax code is in full swing as economists and advocates across the political spectrum view the expiring Trump-era tax law as an opportunity to advance their economic priorities.

Democratic Rep. Suzan DelBene of Washington said Wednesday that reworking the tax code will be “a reflection of what your values are.”

DelBene, who sits on the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy, said her priorities include modernizing the tax code, raising revenue via carbon fees on imported goods, and making permanent an expanded child tax credit akin to the temporary changes in place during the pandemic.

“The top line is starting from what our values and goals are, and then looking at what the policies are that help us get there,” DelBene said at a Politico-sponsored discussion on proposed tax law changes.

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The early morning event at Washington’s Union Station brought together tax experts and advocates from Georgetown University Law Center, the Urban Institute, the Heritage Foundation and Groundwork Collaborative.

Tax overhaul

The massive tax overhaul ushered in under the Trump administration permanently cut the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent. The 2017 law, championed by Republicans as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, also put in place several temporary measures for corporations and small businesses. Some are phasing out or already expired, including immediate deductions for certain investments.

Temporary changes for households included marginal tax rate cuts across the board, a doubling of the child tax credit, and a near doubling of the standard deduction – all of which are set to expire Dec. 31, 2025.

A bipartisan bill to temporarily extend the expiring business incentives and expand the child tax credit beyond 2025 sailed through the U.S. House in late January, but has been stalled by U.S. Senate Republicans who oppose some of the child tax credit expansion proposals.

A May 2024 nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report estimated extending the tax cuts would cost roughly $4.6 trillion over 10 years. The bulk of the cost would stem from keeping in place individual tax cuts, according to an analysis of the report by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

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Critics of the 2017 law point to a recent March analysis from academics and members of the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Federal Reserve that shows that the law’s benefits flowed to the highest earners.

DelBene said revisiting the corporate tax rate, even on the Republican side, is “on the table” and lawmakers will be talking about “where the TCJA wasn’t about investing and making sure that we were being fiscally responsible.”

‘Incredibly bullish’

Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, said she’s “incredibly bullish” on elected officials making “fundamental changes” to the tax code next year.

The progressive think tank sent a letter last week to House and Senate leadership and top tax writers urging them “to use the expiration of these provisions as an opportunity to address long-standing problems with our tax code, not just to tinker around the edges.”

The letter was signed by 100 organizations from across the U.S., ranging from the AFL-CIO and the United Auto Workers to the National Women’s Law Center and United Church of Christ.

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Stephen Moore, who helped write the Trump-era tax law and is now the conservative Heritage Foundation’s senior visiting fellow in economics, said the 2017 law was a “huge success” and that “we’re gonna definitely make those tax cuts permanent.”

Moore is an economic adviser for former President Donald Trump’s reelection effort, but said he was not speaking on behalf of the presidential campaign.

He said he does not agree with Trump on everything, including a promise to enact 10 percent tariffs on imported goods, reaching as high as 60 percent on Chinese imports.

“A tariff is just a consumption tax,” he said. “And so you know, I think that it is not a great policy, in my opinion. But if you’re gonna have a tariff, I would rather have a tariff that is uniform than trying to have, like, a protectionist tariff to, you know, protect this industry or that industry.”

When pressed on data that shows funding the Internal Revenue Service increases revenue, Moore said that President Joe Biden’s increase in funding for the agency is “diabolical.”

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Man Rescued After He Lands Parachute In Tree 60 Ft From The Ground

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Man Rescued After He Lands Parachute In Tree 60 Ft From The Ground


HOLLIS, NH — A man who was parachuting from a plane that took off from Skydive Pepperell made an unplanned landing Sunday about 60 feet up in a tree and could not free himself

Hollis Fire, police, and Pepperell Fire responded to the area of Rundels Bridge Road near the Pepperell town line. When they arrived, they began to evaluate the best way to access the man who said he was uninjured. Hollis Fire brought the ladder truck to a field and maneuvered it as close to the tree line. The ladder was extended so the man could safely move from the tree to the ladder truck’s bucket. He was brought to the ground, where he was evaluated by EMS and refused medical treatment.

Firefighters worked to free the parachute from the tree and return the parachute to the man who remained at the scene.

Find out what’s happening in Nashuawith free, real-time updates from Patch.

At the time of the incident, there were very light winds, and it is unknown what caused the parachute to be unable to land at one of the designated spots.

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On the trail: Kuster to headline Biden campaign event

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On the trail: Kuster to headline Biden campaign event


When U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster announced in March that she wouldn’t seek re-election this year, the six-term lawmaker in New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District said that she still planned to hit the campaign trail on behalf of fellow Democrats up and down the ballot.

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And starting next week, the Democrat from Hopkinton, N.H., will start doing just that, beginning with the candidate at the top of the ticket – President Joe Biden.

Kuster will headline an event for the president’s re-election team in New Hampshire when she joins a group of veterans next Wednesday in Concord for a roundtable discussion focused on what the Biden campaign calls “the threat Donald Trump poses to our democracy and the ongoing threat of political violence under a second Trump term.”

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The event will spotlight the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by right-wing extremists and other Trump supporters who temporarily delayed Congressional certification of Biden’s 2020 election victory over the then-president.

According to the Biden campaign, Kuster will highlight what they call the “ongoing threat of political violence, Donald Trump’s blatant attacks on American democracy, and the urgency in reelecting President Biden and Vice President Harris to ensure history does not repeat itself.”

Since his defeat at the hands of Biden in November 2020, Trump has repeatedly made unsubstantiated claims that the election was “rigged” due to “massive voter fraud” and “stolen” from him. The former president has made his allegations a key part of his 2024 bid to win back the White House, has not said if he would unconditionally accept the election results in November if he loses, and has pledged if he wins to pardon some of his supporters convicted for their roles in the Capitol attack.

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Kuster was one of the final members of Congress evacuated from the House floor as rioters attacked the Capitol, and she has talked extensively about the experience and how democracy could have died on that dark day.

And in the months after the storming of the Capitol, Kuster spoke out about the harrowing experience and her battle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), noting that it took roughly five weeks to recover with the supporter of family, friends, and professional treatment.

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Looking ahead to this autumn’s Biden-Trump presidential election rematch, Kuster said in a recent interview that “I truly believe this is an existential moment in our country.”

“I believe that our democracy is threatened by Donald Trump and I want to do everything in my power to make sure that democracy and civility and stability prevail,” she emphasized.

Biden in New Hampshire

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Kuster’s headlining of a Biden campaign event with veterans will come a week after the president made an official White House stop in New Hampshire to tout the success of the PACT ACT, a measure which increased healthcare access for veterans with injuries from burn pits or other toxic exposure.

Biden stressed the importance of allowing veterans with medical issues caused by battlefield exposures to get the health care they need without having to face extra hurdles.

The president noted that “too many service members have not only braved the battlefield,” but that they did it “while breathing in toxic fumes from burn pits and other means.”

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Biden also made a stop at the VFW in Merrimack, N.H., to meet with veterans and their families.

The president was greeted by Gov. Chris Sununu, Manchester Mayor Jay Ruis, and Kuster as he arrived Tuesday morning at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan flew aboard Air Force One on the flight to New Hampshire.

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After his stops in New Hampshire, Biden headed to Boston later in the day for a trio of campaign fundraising events.

Poll Position

Biden holds a single-digit advantage over Trump in the battle for New Hampshire’s four electoral votes, according to a new non-partisan public opinion survey.

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Biden grabs 44% support and Trump 41% among Granite Staters likely to vote in the presidential election, a University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll released on Thursday indicated. Biden’s margin is within the survey’s sampling error.

Democrat turned independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr stood at 3%, with Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 2%, independent Cornel West at 1% and 8% undecided.

According to the poll, in a two-person matchup, it’s Biden edging Trump 52%-48%. And 85% of those questioned said they’ve definitely made up their mind, with 12% leaning towards a candidate and the rest undecided.

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The poll was conducted May 16-20, with a large sample including 1,140 likely voters in New Hampshire.

The Democratic president stands at 42% support among likely voters in the Granite State, with his Republican predecessor in the White House at 36%, according to a UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion and YouGov poll released this week.

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Eleven percent of those surveyed said they were backing Kennedy, with 9% saying they were undecided and 2% supporting other candidates.

The survey indicated that favorable ratings for Biden, Trump, and Kennedy were all well underwater.

“As is true of the national electorate, most New Hampshire voters polled are unhappy with the presidential ballot,” Rodrigo Castro Cornejo, the Center for Public Opinion’s associate director and a UMass Lowell assistant professor of political science, said.

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The poll was conducted on-line May 6-14, with 600 likely voters in New Hampshire questioned. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus 5.24 percentage points.

A separate poll conducted by Praecones Analytica for the conservative leaning NH Journal indicated the race in New Hampshire was deadlocked, with the president and his GOP challenger each at 36% support and Kennedy at just under 15%.

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For the past quarter century, New Hampshire’s been considered a swing state in presidential elections, with winning margins nearly entirely in the single digits.

Trump lost New Hampshire to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by roughly 3,000 votes but four years later Biden carried the state by a more comfortable margin of just over seven points.

Most pundits expect a close contest this autumn, which will likely mean a good amount of travel to the state by the candidates and their top surrogates.

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This week’s stop was Biden’s second trip to New Hampshire this year, following a visit in early March that included a policy event in Goffstown where the president made the case for budget proposals he announced days earlier in the State of the Union Address and spotlighted how his administration has been trying to help lower costs for American families coping with rising prices due to persistent inflation.

The president also stopped in Manchester after his Goffstown event to formally open his re-election campaign’s first coordinated field office in the state, and to speak with Democratic operatives, activists, and supporters. The campaign field office stop appeared to be part of the president’s political mission of patching up hard feelings from the primary season.

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The March trip was Biden’s first time back in New Hampshire since an April 2022 stop in Portsmouth, N.H.

Biden angered plenty of Granite State Democrats in the wake of a move early last year by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) — following the president’s lead — to bump New Hampshire from its traditional role as the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state.

New Hampshire, adhering to a state law that mandates its presidential primary goes first, did just that — which meant the state’s Jan. 23 nominating contest was unsanctioned on the Democratic side.

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Biden kept his name off the ballot and steered clear of the state, but thanks to a well-organized write-in effort by New Hampshire’s Democratic establishment leaders, the president easily won the primary over his long-shot challengers. A couple of weeks ago, the DNC announced it would welcome New Hampshire’s delegates to the national nominating convention this summer in Chicago after the state party conducted a very small party-run presidential primary days earlier.



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