A recent viral video is sparking debate over government overreach and the responsibilities of local government.
In a now viral video, a Democrat Alderman from New Hampshire has unveiled his plan to kick the elderly out of their family homes. During a discussion of property taxes at a Joint Committee on Education meeting, Alderman Christopher Herbert (who also serves as a state representative) explained that the local government should develop a program to oust the elderly from their homes instead of offering tax credits, insisting that the city “can’t be run by the elderly.”
“I’ve got an 85-year-old woman that lives across the street, and, and she won’t give up her house,” explained Herbert. “She’s sitting on $350,000 and she can’t afford it anymore, and you’re saying give her a tax credit. No, we should have a program that gets her out of the house.”
Local municipalities often offer property tax credits for elderly home owners. Property taxes are one of the few levers a city can access to raise funds. Property taxes tend to rise over time as cities grow and take on more responsibility. Tax credits are often offered to elderly home owners who have lived in the city for decades, and struggle to keep up with rising living costs.
Yet, Chris Herbert does not believe the elderly deserve to continue living in their family homes. “I mean, we need to get new people to come in and, and, ‘occupy’ those houses.” He said, insinuating that the elderly do not count as occupants. “We can’t be run by the elderly in a city—that, that, that’s foolishness,” He said, disparagingly. “I mean, if you want to go do that you can go down to the communities outside of Orlando. And they have a lot of money.”
Herbert’s comments attracted outrage from the people of New Hampshire and the Democrat state representative eventually apologized for not expressing himself well. He clarified his comments, saying he merely wanted to “help the elderly monetize their property without being taken advantage of by the private market,” according to Washington Free Beacon.
Yet, the people of New Hampshire are not convinced. “Instead of saying you want to ‘help the elderly monetize their homes,’ why don’t you speak english and say you want to force them to SELL THEIR HOMES. That would be plain speak,” one local resident said in response to Herbert’s clarification.
Herbert’s plan also stirred controversy over the proper role of a local government. The Democrat’s plan would be incredibly difficult to enforce, and would severely undermine the rights of elderly Americans. How does the Alderman expect to convince elderly New Hampshirites to sell the homes they have lived in for decades?
The plan “makes you a little less communist than Chairman Mao,” accused the same local resident. “Instead of Roberts Rules, do you carry a little Red Book in your pocket,” he asked, accusing the Alderman of pushing communist social policies.
Chris Hebert is the state representative for New Hampshire’s 43rd district. He is also the 4th Ward Alderman of Manchester.