Last week’s big snowstorm required a lot of cleanup across New England. In many places, property owners are required to shovel their sidewalks, but not in New Hampshire.
Mark Hayward with the Manchester Union Leader told New Hampshire Public Radio says the granite state’s aversion to mandated shoveling goes back to 1898. That’s when the state Supreme Court struck down a $5 fine in Concord.
They looked at it like a tax,” Hayward says. “And in New Hampshire, all taxes have to be equitable. You can’t have one rate for one person and one rate for another. And so they said that because you might have a longer sidewalk, you’re being taxed unfairly.”
Hayward argues that New Hampshire residents actually do end up getting taxed for sidewalk shoveling. that’s because cities and towns end up paying to clear them of snow.