Wednesday, January 28, 2009


The proposed charter amendment would put a $100,000 maximum on the big spenders in City Government

If on February 3rd voters pass the proposed “Limitations on Taxing Authority” charter amendment, an amendment I will call Fiscally Accountable City Taxation (FACT), what will it mean? What are the facts about FACT?

FACT 1: Portsmouth property owners will have an opportunity to curb the Portsmouth city government’s habit of spending large chunks of taxpayers’ money without their approval, as the city did in 2002 when it paid a wildly inflated price of $2 million dollars for the empty and leaking Marting Department Store.

FACT 2: The city will have to provide a justification and a plan for major expenditures that cannot be financed out of Capital Improvement Funds.

FACT 3: City government will be required to pay for large scale items out of the Capital Improvements Fund, which is what they should be doing, instead of sticking property owners with thirty year tax bills to pay for such projects as the renovation of leaking Marting Building and the moldy Adelphia property.

FACT 4: Portsmouth property owners will have a say in 30-year debt obligations, that will be paid for out of their property taxes.

FACT 5: There will be, in effect, a $100,000 limit on the city’s Master Card. Yes, the City will still be able to get away with spending $50,000 on repairing the leaking roof of the Marting Building Annex, without taxpayers even knowing about it, and they will still be able to spend $25,000 on a new city car for Hizzoner the Mayor Jim Kalb, but spending anything over $100,000, except out of the Capital Improvements Fund, will be prohibited.

The city secretly spent $50,000 repairing the roof of the Marting Annex (shown above) without the approval of the City Council, an uauthorized expenditure that Councilman Mollette has requested the County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Kuhn to investigate.

The infamous Marting building for which the city paid $2,000,000 in perhaps the greatest fiscal scam in Portsmouth's history. Passing the charter amendment would make scams like this a thing of the past.

Vote “Yes” on Feb. 3rd on the “Limitations on Taxing Authority.”