The New Hampshire Public Finance Consortium (NHPFC) is a volunteer committee of the New Hampshire Government Finance Officers Association (NHGFOA) whose mission is to promote sustainable fiscal strength and security for its member governments as fundamental to community health, service delivery and infrastructure. Since its inception, the focus of the NHPFC has been on the development of a data model to provide public and municipal access to relevant, consistent and timely financial data about our local governments.
Working closely with the NH Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) and NHGFOA members, the NHPFC hopes to build partnerships throughout the state to allow ready access to consistent financial data for analysis and decision-making by key municipal players.
With financial support from the NH Municipal Association, the NH Municipal Bond Bank, the NH Municipal Managers Association and NHGFOA, NHPFC provides this data access tool to those interested in municipal finance in New Hampshire.
The Data Model is a database-driven presentation and analysis tool, utilizing New Hampshire local government financial data reported annually by individual towns and cities to the DRA. Much of the data are reported in response to the need for setting municipal property tax rates, as well as satisfying other mandated reporting rules.
Until early 2008 these data were only available in paper form by combing through the files of individual municipalities, or by visiting the offices of the DRA in Concord. In 2008, at the behest of the NHPFC and others, DRA began providing historical financial data on their web site. While this was a great improvement, as it lead to the creation of the NHPFC web site, the data were still difficult to use.
The NHPFC Data Model enhances the DRA data by adding other financial information to improve the quality of understanding, expertise, and policy development at both the local and statewide level.
While there have been many people who have volunteered their time and efforts to the production of this data model and web site, particular mention must be made of those who have stayed the course and understand the importance of making decisions based upon readily available, reliable data. First and foremost, all involved are indebted to the tireless efforts of Jim Howard, former Deputy City Manager and Finance Director of Concord, without whom this project would not have been possible. Special thanks are also due to several Consortium stalwarts: Betsy McClain, Finance Director of Hanover; Dana Call, Finance Director of Windham; Jeanne Beaudin, Finance Director and Manager of Belmont; and Chris Porter, former Researcher for the New Hampshire Municipal Association.