One year ago this month this newspaper reported Bow’s loss in court of the tax appeal by Public Service Company. The January 2017 paper reported on my review of the cases from the court I served on for over eight years as follows:

“The statistics from utility tax appeals in the New Hampshire Supreme Court for the last 35 years reflect no reversals at all in similar cases.” Bow Times, January 2017, page 1.

Now it is 36 years of no reversals.

In the editorial a year ago I said:

“While the town has appealed, the effort seems futile given that most of the judge’s decision was based on lack of credible evidence from the town’s expert on valuation of utility properties. The Supreme Court does not make new determinations of credibility.”

So what did the court say in its opinion this month?

“Credibility, of course, is for the trial judge to determine as a matter of fact… We find no reason to disturb the court’s assessment” because the Public Service Company’s expert was credible, Bow’s was not.

I pleaded personally with Harry Judd a year ago to settle this loser of a case before it was decided by the Supreme Court. Harry is an energy company lawyer not a litigator. Now we have to settle with a foot on our throat and we have wasted a year of interest at about $400,000 plus the cost of transcripts and attorney fees. The result? An opinion brushing off Bow in a little over four pages and not one single cite to an exhibit or a single page of testimony in the six-day trial.

I hate to say I told you so but a year ago at page two of The Bow Times newspaper I said:

1. Get a new town counsel
2. Get an attorney that specializes in tax cases
3. Settle as soon as possible

Thanks for blowing $400,000 on a frivolous appeal.

Chuck Douglas

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