Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who supervises the
A: The NH Attorney General's office at the Department of Justice in Concord, NH, supervises trustees throughout the State of New Hampshire. Specifically, the Charitable Trusts Unit in Concord is most familiar with the NH trust funds in each community.
Q: Are the Trustees
Meetings open to the public? May I speak at a meeting?
A: Yes. The Trustee Meetings are held in the Selectmen's Meeting Room in the Town Office Building. See the Meeting Schedule. At each meeting, the Board of Trustees opens the floor for public comment.
Q: Can the Town of
Hampton borrow money from the Real Estate Trust Fund?
A: Yes. However, it makes little sense to borrow from the Real Estate Trust Fund because the total return achieved by the Real Estate Trust Fund is generally greater than the cost of borrowing money from other municipal borrowing sources.
Further, the borrowing "cost savings" to the Town will reduce the income that the Real Estate Trust Fund pays over to the Town. The shortfall in income from the Real Estate Trust Fund will have to be made up by increasing the tax rate (for a given municipal budget). Effectively, the cost savings will equal the tax increase, so borrowing money from the Real Estate Trust Fund is a wash.
On August 23, 2010, the Board of Selectmen affirmed that there is no benefit to the Town in borrowing money from the Real Estate Trust Fund.
Q: Can the Town of
Hampton withdraw money from the Real Estate Trust Fund to fund a capital purchase?
A: No. The Hampton Real Estate Trust Fund was created by an act of the legislature in 1975. The act was amended by the legislature in 1983 and again in 2003. The 2003 amendment permits the town to borrow money for capital improvements in accordance with RSA 33:8. There is no authorization in the 2003 legislation that permits the town to withdraw the money from the Hampton Real Estate Trust Fund unilaterally.
Because the Hampton Real Estate Trust Fund was created by an act of the legislature, the only entity that has the authority to permit the town to withdraw (rather than borrow) money for capital improvements from the Trust Fund is the NH legislature.
Withdrawing money from the Real Estate Trust Fund permanently removes the future income and growth potential of the Real Estate Trust Fund to reduce property taxes.
On August 23, 2010, the Board of Selectmen voted against a possible effort to obtain enabling legislation allowing the withdrawal of principal from the Real Estate Trust Fund for the purpose of funding the renovation and reconstruction of the Town's two fire stations. The long-term effect of a withdrawal outweighed the short-term benefit.