Bastion First Look – Proposed Belknap County Budget

For those that have been pining for the opportunity to pay more taxes, the wait is now over!

During last night’s organizational meeting of Belknap County’s newly elected Delegation, members were presented with the proposed county budget for their consideration and adoption in April.

There are three main factors driving the county budget rise in the total tax take this year:

  1. Spending is increased by 6.6%
  2. A Significant Drop in Operating Revenue and ARPA Funding: -10.6%
  3. NO Fund Balance applied: -100%

As you can see, the budget as presented, seeks to raise the county portion of our property tax bills by a whopping 35.4% !!!! The budget preparers explained it as follows:

So what are the county taxpayers being asked to sacrifice more of their hard-earned dollars for?

Now, rational people can certainly understand that in this inflationary period, costs WILL go up. And they can further understand that in this era of unprecedented employee shortages, hiring and retention is extremely difficult. The matter at hand, which is now up to the Delegation, is whether or not the budget builders have squeezed every penny and left no savings stone unturned. We shall see. At least we have this group working on that. WELL, ACTUALLY, NO THEY ARE NOT!!!!

During last night’s meeting, the Delegation elected Representative Harry Bean to be its chair. Bean, following the presentation, proposed they divide into three working groups to take sections of the budget and do in-depth study and get information to bring back to the Delegation as a whole with detailed reporting and recommendations. Rather than affirm his plan and get on with their work, in a most-painful display of reticence and apprehension, several members of the Delegation broke down into confusion and indecisiveness and ended up doing what groups often do: they tabled any work on the budget, and decisions on HOW to do it for nearly a month!

Here at The Bastion, we GET it- these are very challenging times, and some difficult decisions are going to have to be made. Some, that will affect the taxpayers, and some, that might have an impact on county programs and operations. This is why we have elected representatives. It is THEIR job to study and make decisions. Some are easy, like deciding to step up and run for office. Some, not so much, like making the tough calls like we need here. In any event, simply dropping back and punting doesn’t seem like the right one to make. They have until April to dig down and learn, and either concur with the spending proposed, or find alternative solutions. Losing a month in that process due to inaction does NOT seem like a good plan.


  1. “several members of the Delegation broke down into confusion and indecisiveness”

    Why not name and shame? I’d like to know who is gonna screw us. Maybe if we hadn’t played footsie with Citizen For Belknap we’d still still have Silva and Silber to defend us. For all their faults in other areas you know they’d be analyzing every penny.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They’re all going to screw us. This is by far the worst delegation we could have asked for. I’m not even worried about the left side, they’ll do what they do. It’s the snakes on the right that were elected who are the most impotent. Hope skiing on the stupid hill was worth a 30% increase in our taxes.


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