Tag Archives: changes

College of Cardinals: The Jus Optionis Preferment Rules.

by Anura Guruge


Role of cardinals in papal elections, culled from Anura Guruge’s ‘The Next Pope’ book. Click to ENLARGE.


Precedence (or seniority) within the College of Cardinals is artificial and basically to do with status and standing, particularly so when it comes to ceremonial purposes — given that as of 1962 all cardinals, unless explicitly exempted by a pope, have to be consecrated bishops (and as such are, in the main, distinguished senior prelates to begin with). Precedence thus determines factors such as the order in which ballots are cast during a conclave and who gets to go ahead of whom when paying homage to a newly elected pope.

Precedence is based on the three ‘orders’ of cardinalate, viz. bishops, priests and deacons – in descending order, starting with the cardinal bishops, with the Dean and Sub-Dean of the College (who are always cardinal bishops) being the most senior.

Each new cardinal is created within one of the three orders based on his then ecclesiastical function. Cardinals appointed from dioceses, around the world, typically bishops or archbishops, are made cardinal priests. Curial officials and eminent theologians are created as cardinal deacons. The most senior of curial officials (in some cases retired) are assigned to one of the six suburbicarian sees – thus making them (along with any Eastern Rites Patriarchs) cardinal bishops.

Since the early thirteen century there has, however, been a preferment mechanism, known as jus optionis (right of option), which enabled the senior most cardinals to move up to a higher order when titles became vacant (or even move to different titles within the same order) – subject, of course, to papal approval. This enabled cardinals gain precedence, or in the case of a transfer within an order, to be associated with more ‘desirable’ title – ‘desirable,’ in this case, most likely having to do with the potential revenues/assets, status or location of a title.

The pope, however, has always had the power and the right to promote cardinals, unilaterally, independent of jus optionis. A curial cardinal deacon if appointed as Archbishop (or possibly the Patriarch of Venice or Lisbon) will most likely, possibly even ‘automatically,’ be elevated to being a cardinal priest — with a fairly good chance that his existing deaconry will be elevated, for the duration of his tenure, pro hac vice into a title. [Refer to this post for more on pro hac vice elevations.] Italian Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe (b. June 2, 1943) provides a recent example of this. In February 2001 he was created a cardinal deacon while holding a curial post. Two months later he was the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. In May 2006, Benedict XVI named him the Metropolitan Archbishop of Naples [Italy]. He was at the same time elevated to a cardinal priest, his deaconry, Dio Padre misericordioso, elevated to a title pro hac vice.

John XXIII Changed The Rules In 1961
In 1961, John XXIII (#262), with his Ad Suburbicarias Dioeceses motu proprio, overrode the jus optionis scheme that had been in place since 1586. Per Ad Suburbicarias Dioeceses the senior most cardinal priest or deacon no longer had the right to opt for a vacant suburbicarian see [i.e., to seek promotion to be a cardinal bishop]. Henceforth, the filling of a vacant suburbicarian see would be a prerogative of the pope, who could do so by creating a new cardinal or by promoting any of the existing cardinals, irrespective of their seniority.

John, with his characteristic flair, demonstrated the new norm by immediately promoting Cardinal Giuseppe Antonio Ferretto to be a Cardinal Bishop [of the see of Sabina e Poggio Mirteto] – though he, having been created a cardinal priest just three months prior, was the most junior of the cardinals.

This decree by John is still the prevailing norm.

This was another one of John’s very incisively astute moves. It ensured that he, and hopefully his successors if they too were so inclined, could globalize the highest echelons of the College. Between 1900 and 1961 there had only been ONE non-Italian cardinal bishop, that being France’s hugely talented and bearded Eugène Tisserant [1884-1972]. Since John’s ruling, 11 of the 25 cardinal bishops have been non-Italian.

In total there have been 60 cardinal bishops since 1900. 48 have been Italian. So John’s change to jus optionis has made quite a difference.

Of these 60 cardinal bishops since 1900, none were created cardinal bishops to begin with, though the pope had always had the option of creating cardinal bishops, provided that there were vacant suburbicarian sees, even prior to the 1961 edict. The last time a pope appeared to have created a cardinal bishop was in April 1449 when Nicholas V (#209) made his one-time rival, antipope Felix (V), the Bishop of Santa Sabina, when the antipope renounced his title and retracted his prior condemnations. [It is possible that there have been other cardinal bishop creations since then, but I have yet to find them, in what, at best, has been somewhat cursory, haphazard research. Come on, there is only so much I can look into at any one time. Working on about five parallel streams right now.]

In 1914, Pius X (#258), had made a smaller change to jus optionis – albeit this time overriding a right that had existed from the original thirteen century rules. As of 1914 there would be no inter-see translations for the cardinal bishops – albeit with Ostia always being assigned to the new Dean, per the by then well entrenched tradition. Pius X also pooled together the assets and revenues of all seven suburbicarian sees and decreed that these would be centrally managed via the Congregation for the Propagation of Faith. The suffragan (‘auxillary’) bishops, tasked with administering these sees as of 1910, were each assigned an annual of remuneration of 6,000 lire (~US $1,200 per then exchange rate). The remaining income was then divided into seven parts, the Dean getting two of these (for his two sees) and the other five bishops one part each.

Meteoric Elevations Prior To John XXIII’s 1961 Rule Change
The first half of the twentieth century appears to have been a great time to have been a cardinal. The maximum size of the College, per Sixtus V’s (#228) landmark 1586 Postquam verus constitution, was being maintained at 70 (until John XXIII serenely dismissed this cap at his very first consistory in 1958). To have less than 65 cardinals was not unusual during this era. Pius XII (#261), in particular, was unusually parsimonious when it came to creating cardinals, only creating 56 during his nearly 20 year (235 month) papacy. << Read this article >> At the end of Pius XII’s reign there were only 53 cardinals.

The near constant vacancies within the College during this period permitted cardinals to exploit jus optionis to rise very quickly through the ranks, particularly if you were an Italian cardinal living in or around Rome. [In 1939 35 of the 62 cardinals were Italian].

Italian Cardinal Gennaro Granito Pignatelli di Belmonte was created a cardinal priest in November 1911. He opted to become a cardinal bishop, four years later, in December 1915.

Italian Cardinal Francesco Marchetti Selvaggiani was created a cardinal priest on June 30, 1930. He opted to be a cardinal bishop on June 15, 1936.

The above mentioned French cardinal Eugène Tisserant went from cardinal deacon to cardinal bishop in just under 10 years between 1936 and 1946.

Italian Benedetto Aloisi Masella was created a cardinal priest in February 1946. He opted to be a cardinal bishop in June 1948. He was a cardinal priest for but 28 months.

Italian Clemente Micara was created a cardinal priest on February 18, 1946. He opted to be a cardinal bishop, of Velletri, but also retaining his original title (at the indulgence of the pope), on June 13, 1946. He was a cardinal priest for 146 days!

Jus Optionis In The 1983 Code Of Canon Law
The jus optionis rulings of Pius X and John are now reflected in Canon 350 §5 & §6.

Per this Canon, cardinal priests may transfer to another title and cardinal deacons to another diaconia – based on seniority and papal approval.

A cardinal deacon with ten full years of tenure can request to be made cardinal priest – with his precedence within the new order being based on his original day of creation. This option of getting promoted to the presbyteral order [i.e., priestly] is very popular and has been widely used – cardinals, since 1961, no longer having the right to seek promotion to the episcopal [i.e., bishopric] order.

Suffice to say that as of 1961 elevation within the College has been more sedate and more cosmopolitan.

The Evolution of Jus Optionis
The major milestones when it comes to jus optionis are as follows:

> Early thirteenth century: the original rules come to be.

1555Paul IV (#224), with his Cum venerabiles constitution, specifies new rules for the Dean and Cardinal deacons.

> 1586: Sixtus V (#228), with his far-reaching Postquam verus constitution, lays out more stringent requirements for cardinal deacons and their preferment – possibly, in part, to atone for the creation of his fourteen year old grand-nephew who as far as can be seen was never ordained, though he went on to become a cardinal bishop

> 1731: Clement XII (#247) formulated the precedence structure for the College.

1914: The Pius X change discussed above.

1961: The pivotal John XXIII change discussed above.


1965: Paul VI (#263) dictates that Dean and Sub-Dean should be elected from within the ranks of cardinal bishops by the cardinal bishops rather than it being based on seniority. See reference ‘2/’ at the bottom.

1984: The new Code of Canon Law with Canon 350 §5 & §6 as discussed above.

The Initial Thirteenth Century Rules
Whenever a cardinalate was vacant, the most senior of the cardinals residing in or around Rome could opt for that title. In the case of cardinal bishops, they could, per this scheme, opt for one (and only one) transfer of bishopric during their lifetime – albeit with Ostia always reserved for the Dean.

Cardinal priests and cardinal deacons could use this option either within their order or, more significantly, to opt for a title in a higher order.

These rules made sense within the context of that time, bearing in mind:

1/ The College of Cardinals was still rather new, having only come to be as of 1150.

2/ It was only between 1139 and 1179 that all cardinals, irrespective of their order, got the right to vote in papal elections.

3/ The notion of non-resident titular cardinals had only really come to pass as of 1163.

It is, however, also worth noting that it this juncture, of the cardinals residing in and around Rome, only the cardinal bishops would have been consecrated bishops. Many of the cardinal deacons were unlikely to have been priests.

1555 Paul IV & 1586 Sixtus V Changes
Paul IV deemed that the most senior [i.e., earliest consecrated] cardinal bishop residing in or around Rome would automatically become the new Dean of the College of Cardinals (whenever that vacancy arose).

This constitution also modified jus optionis rules so that a cardinal deacon with ten years of tenure would get precedence when it came to preferment over cardinal priests created since his creation – provided that his ‘opting up’ would not reduce the number of cardinals deacons in the College to less than ten.

Sixtus V, in 1586, deemed that one needed to be at least 22 years old in order to be created a cardinal deacon and, moreover, be prepared to be ordained within a year of their creation. If they did not satisfy the ordination criteria, they would (in theory) lose their appointment. Upon being ordained, a cardinal deacon would be re-assigned as a cardinal priest (with a new title) – but only when a new cardinal deacon was created to backfill the resulting vacancy. [As in 1555, there appears to have been an underlying concern about depleting the ranks of cardinal deacons.]

The jus optionis preferment rules were also updated to state that cardinal deacons must have ten years of tenure before they could request a vacant suburbicarian see [i.e., be a cardinal bishop]. However, the cardinal protodeacon [i.e., the earliest created], provided that he was 30 years or older, could opt for a suburbicarian see if it became vacant for a third time since his creation.

In 1731 Clement XII formulated the now familiar rules of precedence within the College. Seniority within the two lower ranks is based on the date of creation (even after a jus optionis preferment to the order of priest), whereas in the case of the bishops, it is determined per the date of episcopal consecration.

Then came the 1914, 1961 and 1984 updates.

In 1965, Paul VI (#263), decreed that seniority would no longer be the basis for who would be the Dean and Sub-Dean of the College of Cardinals when these posts became vacant (though this long standing tradition had been incorporated into the 1917 Code of Canon Law). Instead, when a new Dean or Sub-Dean was required, the cardinals bishops would elect one from among their ranks – independent of seniority, albeit subject to the person elected being approved by the pope.


Also refer to these four related articles:

1/ Precedence Among Cardinal Bishops – Rationalization << click here >>


2/ Precedence Among Cardinal Bishops << click here >> Reference here to the 1965 ruling for the election of the Dean and Sub-Dean.


Related posts:
++++ Search ‘popeor ‘cardinal’ for MANY other posts >>>>
++++ Check Category ‘religion’ >>>>


by Anura Guruge

New Hampshire (N.H.) 2016 – 2017 Property Tax Rates: Highest, Lowest & Everything Else.

by Anura Guruge


New Hampshire property tax rates Anura Guruge


As I did for last year, i.e., 2015 – 2016, I am going to do just this ONE post and update it as more and more towns report.

So ideally anybody and everybody looking for 2016 – 2017 New Hampshire property tax information will always end up at this post. OK? Clear? Thanks.


As of December 12, 2016, 225 towns had published their 2016 – 2017 Property Tax Rates. (As always I have excluded the (exotic) N.H. Townships, Grants, Locations and Purchases that had $0.00 tax rate for the year. Wikipedia has a list of all these N.H. ‘exotics’. The other, non-zero exotics have a grey background and a (U) notation.)

This 225 list (marked ‘Final’ by the State) constitutes our ‘full house’.


PLEASE note that these property tax rates in isolation are MEANINGLESS unless you also factor in the relative property values of the towns. Please read this post. Click image on right to ENLARGE.

All the data used from the NH Department of Revenue Administration Tax ‘page’.
For 2015 – 2016 they have a new Website. The data provided and the format is a bit different.
They have included a ‘dashboard’ to try and make it easier IF you understand their lingo.

Click here to access the official N.H. Website page.


2016 – 2017 New Hampshire Property Tax Rates

December 12, 2016.

225 Towns Reporting.

[Towns in ‘grey’ rows are non-zero ‘exotics’ — possibly uninhabited.]


Sorted by Name.

Click here to access entire PDF file.

2016-2017nhalphaimage

Click to ENLARGE and view the first ‘few’ entries, in alphabetical order.


Featured Promotion for the week

quickguideassaafssa


e-mail: anu@wownh.com
to see how you could be in this slot.


Sorted HIGHEST to lowest.

Click here to access entire PDF file
sorted highest-to-lowest.

2016-2017nhhighest

25 towns with highest tax rate.


Sorted LOWEST to highest.

Click here to access entire PDF file
sorted lowest-to-highest.

2016-2017nhlowest

25 towns with lowest tax rate.



kindlecoverjpegRelated posts:
>> Search ‘property taxes>>>>
++ Check category ‘New Hampshire>>>>


by Anura Guruge

 

 


Swiss Cardinal Cottier, O.P. Dies At Age 93, College Of Cardinals Down To 215, 2nd Change In 2016.

by Anura Guruge


Changes to the College of Cardinals in 2016.

Click to ENLARGE.


Related posts:
++++ Check Categories  ‘Religion‘ on sidebar for lots of other posts >>>>

++++ Search on ‘cardinal‘ for other posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge

New Hampshire (N.H.) Tax Rates, On Average, Little Changed In 2016, Jaffrey Sees 11.35% Hike.

2015-2016taxesbannerAnura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1/
N.H. 2014 – 2015 tax rates — Dec. 5, 2015.
2/ N.H. 2013 – 2014 tax rates — Nov., 2013.

3/ N.H. 2012 – 2013 tax rates — Nov., 2012.

++++ Search on ‘tax’ for other posts >>>>


2015 – 2016 New Hampshire Property Tax season is underway — with tax bills being sent out in December 2015.

So far only 76 towns (31% of the 229 ‘Full House’) have reported. That is down from this time last year. But there will be a flurry of filings in the next 2 weeks.

On average, across, all 76 towns the difference between last year and this year is 2.36%.

But, that is the average and averages don’t tell the full story. There are a few significant hikes, e.g., Jaffery with 11.35%. But rates in Windam went down 10.5%.

Check the data at this MASTER post for 2015 – 2016. OK?

Towns such as Alton, Wolfeboro, Gilford, Meredith have yet to report.


New Hampshire (N.H.) 2015 – 2016 Property Tax Rates: Highest, Lowest & Everything Else.

2015-2016taxesbannerAnura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1/
N.H. 2014 – 2015 tax rates — Dec. 5, 2015.
2/ N.H. 2013 – 2014 tax rates — Nov., 2013.

3/ N.H. 2012 – 2013 tax rates — Nov., 2012.

++++ Search on ‘tax’ for other posts >>>>


2017 Rates Now Available.

New Hampshire property tax rates Anura Guruge


For 2015 – 2016 I am JUST going to do this ONE post and update it as more and more towns report.

Previous years I did a post each time there was a fresh batch of data. Given that people find these posts, in the main, via search engines they would invariably end up at an out-of-date post.

Hence this approach. So ideally anybody and everybody looking for 2015 – 2016 New Hampshire property tax information will always end up at this post. OK? Clear? Thanks.


As of December 12, 2015, 238 towns have published their 2015 – 2016 Property Tax Rates. (As always I have excluded the (exotic) N.H. Townships, Grants, Locations, and Purchases, e.g., Bean’s Grant, Bean’s Purchase, Cambridge, Atkinson and Gilmanton Academy Grant, Dix’s Grant etc. Wikipedia has a list of all these N.H. ‘exotics’. I exclude them because they typically do not have a bona fide tax.)

I consider 229(+) towns as our ‘full house’. So at 238 is GOOD.


PLEASE note that these property tax rates in isolation are MEANINGLESS unless you also factor in the relative property values of the towns. Please read this post. Click image on right to ENLARGE.

All the data used from the NH Department of Revenue Administration Tax ‘page’.
For 2015 – 2016 they have a new Website. The data provided and the format is a bit different.
They have included a ‘dashboard’ to try and make it easier IF you understand their lingo.

Click here to access the official N.H. Website page.


2015 – 2016 New Hampshire Property Tax Rates

December 12, 2015.

238 Towns Reporting — that is close to a ‘Full House

The following table also shows, to the RIGHT, the 2014-2015 tax rate and the CHANGE.

Click on images to ENLARGE (7 images).

pt2016apt2016bpt2016cpt2016dpt2016ept2016fpt2016g


To obtain above list as a small, clean (& safe) PDF
click here or on icon below.

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Highest Tax Rate
(Top 15)

pt2016highest

Click to ENLARGE.


Lowest Tax Rate
(Bottom 15)

pt2016lowest

Click to ENLARGE.


Sarah Palin Apologizes To Pope Francis — Pope Catches A Cold!

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.



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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Popes and celibacy — Nov. 11, 2013.
>> Pope to create female cardinals
>>Nov. 4, 2013.
>> Alton, Consistory Central …
>>Oct. 26, 2012.

++++ Search on ‘pope‘ for other pope related posts >>>>


palinapology

Click to access full ‘USA Today’ coverage.


popecold

Click to check original at Vatican’s ‘VIS’ news.


Just struck me as a funny coincidence.

On a MORE serious note, I think that there is deeper message here. I think, with curial changes in the offing, the pope is snubbing these curial heads. That is how it reads to me, and you can’t deny I am pretty adept at reading the Roman chicken entrails.

P.S., I did talk about the Sarah Palin remark in passing here when talking about ‘The Bush‘ wanting to appear Pontifical.

Pope Francis’ Latest Remarks About BIG Church & Inclusiveness Does NOT Change Doctrine.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Gold pallium pins … — July 28, 2013.
>> Pope Francis’ 100 days in office … — June 19, 2013.
++++ Search on ‘pope‘ for other pope related posts >>>>


sep22homily

Click to access post by my friend, U.K. Catholic friend, Father Anthony Churchill, STL.


I, given my involvement, know that people are delighted with the pope’s reassuring, all welcome, all inclusive comments, but I also know that some are confused.

Father Churchill, who has been a wonderful collaborator over the last 2 years, shared this homily with me as he was writing it. We had been discussing the pope’s words.

Folks, especially those affected, have to realize that this pope is NOT offering any changes to Church doctrine or stance. I think that this confuses people. They are building up HOPE, but the Church is still adamant.

Doesn’t make a difference to me. I do NOT want salvation. Never have sought salvation. I do NOT believe in ANYTHING after death. Kaput.

But, Father Churchill’s homily, and I urged him to put one paragraph towards the end to further clarify matters, might help you understand the distinction between inclusiveness and hoped for salvation.

NH Town Tax Rates: Comparing The Rate Of One Town With That Of Another Is Meaningless!

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by
Anura Guruge


A FEW Pertinent Posts:
  +++++ do a SEARCH (>>>>) on ‘Tax’ for others’ >>>>>
1. NH Property Tax Comparison — Nov. 26, 2012.
2. Alton, NH: 23rd Lowest Tax Rate — Nov. 26, 2012.
3. Alton, NH Property Tax ‘Impact’ Has Gone Up 4% Since Last Year
>>Nov. 28, 2012.

4. Alton Tax Base Went Down for 3 reasons — Dec. 18, 2012.


Given that one of my pictures is worth 360 words written by me, I hope this picture alone explains everything.

Given that one of my pictures is worth 360 words written by me, I hope this picture alone explains everything.


In the last month of so I have been getting 40 hits a day on my NH property tax posts. Thank you. I am glad I can be of help.

I guess folks have started getting their new mortgage rates for 2013 and have finally come to terms with what is happening with property tax rates.

There is, however, a key point that I am not sure that I have still managed to get through.

In NH, comparing the tax rate of one town, say Alton, with another, say Franconia, is meaningless and pointless.

Why? Because the tax rate is dependent, tied at the hip, to the property values of that town.

There are no standardized property values — and there can never be such a thing, because property values have to, in some form, reflect market demand and market prices.

Hence, the above example. Same house. Different assessed values. [This is a hypothetical example. I do not know exactly what the assessed value will be in Francoina. Just a guess.]

So it doesn’t matter that Franconia’s tax rate is $2.24 per $1,000 assessed value higher than Alton.

The tax bill in Franconia will be lower than Alton.

I don’t know why but people always overlook this tax rate ≈ assessed value relationship. It is an inviolable. Tax rate by itself means diddly.

In the end it is all a question of the town’s budget. They have to set the tax rate based on their property base.

So there is no point going on about the tax rate of one town versus that of the other. Just doesn’t work.

Hope this helps.

The Math Museum In New York City. On My List. Looks Way Cool. Has To Be Better Than Their Sex Museum.

Dec2013x125

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Currier Museum Of Art in Manchester, NH — May 7, 2012.
>> Manchester, NH, Science Museum — Mar. 2, 2013.



One of my manifold foibles is that I am an unashamed museum junkie. I will gladly tour any and all museums. My favorite destination in any city that I visit — and has been for most of my life, starting quite young.

Yes, I have also been rather lucky. I have visited the Hermitage (in Leningrad/St. Petersburg), the Louvre (over 40 times), the d’Orsay (the week that it opened), the Getty (in its first year) — not to mention museums in Amsterdam, Denmark, Belgium, Albany, Chicago, NY, D.C., Boston, Manchester, Colombo, Male, London etc. etc.

I heard about this unique, the first (and only) of its kind Math Museum in New York on a Sunday morning TV show, while I was brushing my teeth. I knew at once that we had to go. So we might have to make a trip to NY this Summer just to visit the museum. We haven’t been to NYC since April of 2011 — so it is time. I am a great believer that one must visit NYC at least once a year to see how the rest of the world lives.

I am also rather partial to math. One of my regrets was that I was never good at the esoteric stuff. Yes, I did calculus, applied mathematics, pure mathematics and even analogue computing at College level — both for my B.Sc. and M.Sc. But, I knew I had hit my ceiling. I have been privileged to be associated with some true, genuine, bona fide math genii. I dedicated my latest Kindle book to one of them:

TomDedication2
I even had a few such genii working for me! One of them, was a New Zealander with a Ph.D., in pure mathematics, from Cambridge. I would tell him daily that I was embarrassed to be his boss, because intellectually I was a dwarf compared to him. We hooked up recently on LinkedIn. He, as it should be, is now a Professor of Mathematics — rather than working in IT. He told me recently that I was the best boss he ever had. That made my day.

Anyway, this is on my list. Devanee will probably freak out since she doesn’t like math, though she claims she does.


Deanna and I visited this museum, shortly after it was open, c. 2003 – 2004. It was flaccid. There was no titillation of any sort. They had to have improved it since.

Digging Into What Is Happening To Alton, NH Tax Base. Gone Down $180 Million Since 2008.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
[do a SEARCH (>>>>) on ‘Tax’ for others’]
1. Alton, NH Property Tax ‘Impact’ Has Gone Up 4% Since Last Year
>>Nov. 28, 2012.

2. Alton Tax Base Went Down for 3 reasons — Dec. 18, 2012.



I had looked at this once before in mid-December 2012 using data I got online from the State.

This week I went and got some data from the Town. Thanks, folks. That was excellent.

This is what they gave me.

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.



I can’t look at numbers unless I throw them into a spreadsheet and do a bit of crunching.

I did that.

This is what I got.

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.



I have been paying property taxes in NH for 27 years — sometimes in multiple towns. I know how it works quite well.

In 1987 I nearly got lynched in the town I was then living in. They had got a brand new, computer system to do their taxes — their first foray into computers. They had a glitch in it which precluded them from sending out the tax bills. The bills were 3 weeks late. I happened to go to the Town Hall to register a car (or something) and was told about the problem in passing. I fixed it in about 10 minutes. The bills went out the next day! The word got out that that ‘brown guy’ who had mysteriously appeared in town (and who worked for some computer company in MA) had fixed the system. But, the Town Hall, especially the Tax Collector, and all who got paid from the town (like the police), loved me ever since.

In NH, the tax rate and the tax base are connected not just at the hip, but from top to bottom.

Lets say that by some miracle a Town managed to operate on a flat budget over a number of years. If, however, despite the flat budget the tax base went down — the tax rate has to go up to make up for it. If the tax base goes up, the tax rate goes down — provided the budget doesn’t change.

It is a titer-totter.

In NH, a Town’s tax rate by itself tells you diddly! It has to be coupled with the tax base — and the formula used to assess property in the town

Take Concord. They have a higher tax rate. I think $24 per thousand. That doesn’t however mean that they pay 1.75 times more in property taxes than Alton. Why? Their assessed value on homes is less. You now have to factor that in. If you take a house assessed at $200,000 in Concord and put it on my lot in Alton (in place of this house), it won’t be assessed at $200,000 in Alton! That is the titer-totter. The snakes-and-ladders as we properly call it back home (and we invented the game).

To me this is but intellectual curiosity. No axe to grind. I have learned over the years not to get excited about changes in a Town assessed base or tax rate. If one goes down the other will go up. C’est la vie.