Newton-Kingston Taxpayers Association

   Reasonable Taxes for Best Values
     in Local Government and Schools

NKTA Accomplishments


  • First meeting of the NKTA was held in Feb, 2015

  • Membership includes town leaders, business people, parents, educators, homemakers and others from all walks of life

  • Membership is growing - up 40% this year

  • Community watch-dog for responsible fiscal management

  • Ongoing Analysis of Property Tax Cost Drivers:  70-80% is School District

  • In-depth Analysis of School District Budget
  • Successfully prevented $9 Million in School Board-approved capital expenditures until further responsible study has been done
 
  • Dissemination of Facts to Public, based on reported information from NH Dept of Education, NH Dept of Revenue and Sanborn Regional School District Administrators:
        *Carriage Towne News and other papers
        *NKTA Facebook Group
        *Other Local Facebook pages
        *Kingston Days
        *Newton Olde Home Day
        *Trunk or Treat in both towns
        *Handouts at Newton Transfer Station, Carriage Towne Plaza

  • Produced 5 voter information videos for Newton and Kingston Cable on NH local voting and government policies and procedures

  • Hosted Public Information Events
        *Local Legislators
        *NH Commissioner of Education
        *School Leadership Team

  • Local Voter Information Mailings in February and March
       * First voting session in February where proposed budgets are            set- this year the mailing and voter turnout forestalled a                    group determined to raise the proposed budget                            unnecessarily 
        *Second voting session in March where local officials are                   elected - since NKTA's founding, voters have elected many               strong-minded and fiscally conservative candidates to                   District committees and board, who are working for                           improved educational results for kids at affordable and                 sustainable costs to the taxpayers who foot the bills

  • Improved Voter Information and Broadened Involvement

  • School Budgets have increased very modestly since NKTA founding due to organized political pressure

  • New definition of Student Success adopted by School Board

  • Three years of $1 Million plus in unspent District monies returned to taxpayers...

  • NKTA Student Success Annual Scholarship
 
  • Defeat of proposal to hire Public Relations person for the District for $103,000 freeing this money for improved educational options for students

  • Support for new Adminstration's educational objectives:
        *more professional development to improve teaching
        *improving outcomes for college and career readiness






Proposals for FY 19-20

Jointly put forward for the second year in a row, by the Budget Committee, School Board and Administration:

Proposed Budget increase of 2.11% 
    - includes $269,000 more than the default budget
    - the increase can seem burdensome to taxpayers, when there are possible savings that have been identified, with facility-use changes, that cannot yet be implemented.  
     - identified savings will be possible with passage of amendment to the District Agreement

Staff Contract Increases
      - close to rate of inflation
      - breaking wall of insurance contribution rate

Change to Articles of Agreement
     - remove the word 'elementary'
     - requires 3/5 majority

Establish and begin to fund emergency reserves
     - allows for tighter and more transparent budgets
     - sound fiscal management

PLEASE NOTE:


It isn’t all about $. While controlling budget creep and tax increases is critical, the schools also face academic challenges.  Please see Objectives! 


Even if you have no children in the schools and little interest, school ratings greatly impact property values. Besides quality of life, the combination of high taxes and low ratings is a serious concern. 


Now for the first time in memory we have school committees and a superintendent working on both fiscal restraint and improving the schools. 


Politically we need to stay strong and keep growing to expand that influence.