NH - Chris Sununu 2-14-2019

Gov. Chris Sununu addresses a joint session of the Legislature as he delivers his budget address Feb. 14, 2019, in Concord.

As Gov. Chris Sununu and legislators continue to seek some kind of agreement to end the state budget stalemate, cities and towns are hoping for tax relief.

Without a deal by Oct. 1, the Department of Revenue Administration will start setting tax rates based on last year’s figures.

“We have lost a lot of state aid since 2009, and to cope they raised property taxes,” Barbara Reid, the government finance adviser at the New Hampshire Municipal Association, told The Center Square.

Cities and towns throughout New Hampshire hope the budget still has a proposed $40 million revenue sharing plan, $20 million for each of the two budget years.

“That is new money that would be going to municipalities; they can use it to reduce the tax rate, to do road or bridge repairs,” Reid said. “Most municipalities didn’t plan for it at the time their budgets were adopted in March or May, but the need is still there.”

The governor’s June 28 budget veto came amid concerns about the repeal of business tax rate reductions and a projected rise in spending by the Democratic-controlled Legislature. Lawmakers authorized a three-month extension to keep state agencies running, and another so-called “continuing resolution” could be authorized if no budget is adopted by the end of this month.

That could leave schools and many taxing districts in a state of limbo.

“A big question is the local school rates – how much money is going to be coming back to them,” Reid said. "So that’s why we have been talking to legislators and saying it is really critical to get this done."

It is hoped a compromise budget could be presented next week, Reid said, finally bringing an end to the impasse.

“From our members’ standpoint, we have lost a lot of municipal aid over the last 10 years. Anything the state does to help recover some of that is helpful.”