to the Problem
There are so many ways to solve the problem we cannot list them all here; however, we will present broad categories of solutions. NHPVRTA believes the best solution would be for the State to pass legislation that would allow the cities and towns to use public funds to take care of residential private roads. Unfortunately, we have learned that there is case law in NH that is broadly interpreted as prohibiting the State from using public funds for maintenance of private ways. Therefore, this solution would require a successful court challenge before it could be taken seriously.
The second broad category is to allow for tax credits to be issued to residential private road taxpayers under RSA 72. Private road taxpayers would file for a Tax Credit on an annual basis requesting a tax credit for their expenses incurred for road, public sewer and public water system maintenance and replacement (located on their property but connected to municipal utilities). Such a solution would likely have a component to it that would allow municipalities to deny requests for good cause, and an appeal system for the taxpayer to appeal such a denial. This solution would more than likely include a unified schedule of services published by the State on costs for various expenses associated with roads, water, and sewer systems. The states of NJ and MD solved this problem by issuing reimbursements to Associations, so that is yet another potential way to solve this problem.
The third broad category of solutions is to introduce a new Private Road Statute. We believe there should be a moratorium on the construction of sub-standard roads for new residential developments that exceed a specified number of homes. It is a policy and practice that sets up the residential private road taxpayers to subsidize public road maintenance (with no reciprocity), and to reside on roads where safety as well as durability has been compromised. This Statute may also include a mandate for cities and towns to perform as survey of all their private roads as to emergency vehicle readiness. Those roads that are not ready for emergency vehicles would be upgraded to make them ready. The funds would need to come from the State if such legislation was passed.
If none of the above solutions are realized, there are potential compromise solutions that could be discussed, but NHPVRTA is not seeking compromise. We are seeking to advance the safety of NH roads while seeking fairness and equity for NH Private Road Taxpayers. We are hopeful the NH legislature will do the right thing.