How can certain fees be legal?

Discussions about the the ridiculous tax evaluations alot of homes received during this recession. (Great timing). Also, any discussions about taxes at all.

How can certain fees be legal?

Postby Chasnbos on Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:23 pm

The state has a document on fees it stems from a case of Emerson vs Brown that basically states fees can only be assessed if reasonable and the user can opt out.
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How can certain fees be legal?

Postby Harry on Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:19 am

I believe that unless the taxpayers approve a new fee, where a fee never existed, that fee if it is in excess of the total Prop 2 ½ would allow would be illegal IMHO.

An established fee such as a dog license or building fee can indeed be raised by the Selectmen.

However, when you take a service that has been paid by taxes such as school bus use, trash pick up etc and remove it from the general fund and create a fee with out taxpayer approval, that fee becomes a tax and should be illegal.

You can’t have semantics under the rule of law. We screwed ourselves by allowing a sewer and water enterprise fund. This fund can, will, and is being used as a revenue generator over and above the actual costs.

The Town can raise its total tax revenue by no more than 2 ½ % per year. If after an over ride failure the town can simply create a fee in lieu of a tax increase it is a violation of Prop 2 ½. is it not? Otherwise why have Prop 2 ½? It’s and end around Prop 2 ½ and it goes against the stated VOTE of the taxpayer.

What am I missing here?
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