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  • John (Sunday, September 23 18 01:42 pm EDT)

    At the meeting it was stated that 79 properties had abatements, totally @$980k , in 2017.

  • Andrew LaPointe (Sunday, September 23 18 06:46 am EDT)

    How big of a bribe was paid to make the topstone taxes disappear

  • Jim Sullivan (Friday, September 21 18 05:22 pm EDT)

    Sara, that is an excellent question and unlike our uncooperative city officials we will do my best to try to get an answer for you. If you watched this week's disgraceful City Council meeting you will realize that any questions I pose in writing to the City Manager does not have to be answered. So there is no guarantee of a written response. However I can and will ask for any documentation listing how many property tax bills were abated (not to be confused with property assessments reduced) over the past few years. That they have to produce or say there is nothing to produce. I will submit that request on Monday and it may take up to 10 business days for them to respond or they could ask for more time if they wish citing lame excuses like "requiring legal review" or "requiring consultation with assessor" which is what I have been dealing with presently trying to get information regarding both abatements for the Topstone property (property tax bill and property valuation abatements). When I get the answer (whatever that answer may be) I will publish it on the website for all to see. Sara, I am very glad that you asked this question because it will now show all of our readers the difficulty we now more frequently have obtaining information for our articles from City Officials. This from a government that continues to claim publicly that they are open and transparent.

  • Sara Tyler (Friday, September 21 18 05:03 pm EDT)

    Jim and or your readership I was wondering if there is a way to find out how many property tax bills are forgiven annually? It was stated that it's not unusual. I was very surprised to hear this statement. Thanks in advance for the information.

  • Paul (Wednesday, September 19 18 11:36 pm EDT)

    Top Stone Tax abatement
    After going to the meeting to night and asking the assessor some questions I believe the building was not worth the 670,000 but it's worth more than 175,000 in my opinion. I would fine it hard to justify that number when in 2007 the present owners bought the building for 495,000 which I have to assume they though was a fair price which was twice its highest sale price ever they must not have done their homework. But they believed it was worth what they paid for or they would not have made the investment I believe the assessment should be what the paid for it FAIR MARKET VALUE. Then it was appraised at 595,700 this figure I believe was over what the building was worth but why did the wait 11 tears to five the abatement?
    The meeting in my opinion would have been more productive if the lawyer had not been there the question I asked was answered after the meeting ended.Not buying the excuse that the council was interfering with anyone job, but we're just trying like the rest of us to get to the bottom of the issue.
    Hope they consider a Board of Assessors with public input.

  • Donk (Wednesday, September 19 18 05:11 pm EDT)

    Richard, perhaps Nancy Merrill could find some roof grant money for such a historic building in Claremont.Maybe we could have a fund raiser?

  • Richard (Wednesday, September 19 18 01:09 pm EDT)

    Judith Nessett the assessing representative the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC hired to prepare and file their abatement claim to the city claimed dinner filing that the roof is bad and there is no heat in any of the upper floors. Only the bottom floor can be rented out. If this is true than the building is not up to code and City Councilor Nick Koloski lied in his testimony to state officials. I believe he also lied about not knowing anything about the abatement because he wrote about it in his testimony and he seems to have intimate knowledge about how the owners of the Topstone property conduct their business. More than any ordinary tenant would.

  • Jim Sullivan (Wednesday, September 19 18 11:58 am EDT)

    New article. Koloski & the Topstone Building.
    For full details go to the Topstone Property Tax Assessment Page of this website.

  • Barbara (Wednesday, September 19 18 08:53 am EDT)

    Tonight at 6:30 PM at Claremont City Hall the City Council will be meeting about the Topstone property tax debt forgiveness giveaway costing taxpayers over $222,000 and I suppose somebody will talk about the 74% property assessment reduction our generous city officials also gave Councilor Nick Koloski's landlord. If you are outraged at this abuse of government authority need to show up tonight and voice your concerns to your elected officials on the City Council. If they don't listen and if they don't take firm action. Such as firings of the assessing firm and the City Manager then we as the voters have to do what is best for Claremont and vote all of them out of office at the next election. It is time for the voters to stand up and be heard please be one of them tonight.

  • Kathy (Wednesday, September 19 18 04:03 am EDT)

    The special city council meeting about the Topstone property scandal is tonight and our local newspaper the Eagle Times still refuses to acknowledge it. It is not in today's edition. Bricker's closing was also ignored. Who knows how many other important stories have been quashed by this newspaper. Everyone should just stop buying this newspaper because the real news is never in it.

  • Todd (Tuesday, September 18 18 04:33 pm EDT)

    The whole thing about the Topstone property and Nick Koloski’s involvement smacks of corruption. Anyone who doesn’t think that Koloski’s connection to the property isn’t the reason for the special treatment is deluding themselves.

  • Mary (Tuesday, September 18 18 03:41 pm EDT)

    When this idea to forgive almost a quarter of one million dollars of property taxes to one property owner came about it should have been discussed at a city council meeting with a public hearing. These city officials forget whose money they are playing around with.

  • flyonthewall (Tuesday, September 18 18 03:05 pm EDT)

    He used to do pick ups and deliveries at certain mile markers on I-91.He's clever enough to run circles around Mc deezNutts.

  • flyonthewall (Tuesday, September 18 18 03:01 pm EDT)

    McNutt can whine about TwinState Property all he likes,he won't see a penny.Twin state is Twin Scam and you've all been had by Frank Sargent.He upped stakes and moved to Florida last year.He's probably working some angle down in North Carolina about now.
    Did any of you ever consider doing a background check on Frank?
    In the 80's he was the biggest drug dealer in the area.I believe he told me that a local prosecutor was a big customer.You know these lawyers and their egos,just can't stay away from the stuff.We're talkin go fast stuff,not the opioids that have come into fashion recently.
    I think he did a dime in the Fed for that one.Another year or 2 when he stiffed Katrina victims as a contractor.

  • Greg (Tuesday, September 18 18 02:08 pm EDT)

    The taxpayers were just raped by our city officials for a second time in regards to the same property. Was it good for you?

  • Jim Sullivan (Tuesday, September 18 18 01:57 pm EDT)

    Excellent question regarding IRS Form 1099-C Cancellation of Debt because the forgiveness of the $222,725.09 becomes taxable income to Topstone Holdings LLC. We hadn't thought of that. I have just submitted a Right to Know Law request to City Manager Ryan McNutt asking that very question. I will publish the answer once I receive it as we are now very curious about that as well as we are sure our readers are too.

  • Tom (Tuesday, September 18 18 01:45 pm EDT)

    Make no mistake; crooked government is back at Claremont City Hall.

  • want to know... (Tuesday, September 18 18 12:37 pm EDT)

    Will Topstone receive a 1099-C?

  • Industrial Property Owner (Tuesday, September 18 18 11:30 am EDT)

    During this past Wednesday’s City Council meeting, City Manager Ryan McNutt lamented about Twin State Property Maintenance that owns 14 properties throughout the city. One of these properties located at 139 Main St. is apparently a safety hazard to the public with an uncooperative property owner. Mr. McNutt said that the company owed approximately $100,000 and called the owner “one of our biggest scofflaws”. I find it interesting because the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC owed more than double in back taxes, equally uncooperative in regards to the payment of property taxes and environmental cleanup of the property yet city administration officials treat Topstone Holdings LLC with kid gloves and admiration. To the point that the temporary assessor expunges $222,725.09 of Topstone Holdings LLC’s property tax debt, interest and penalties in addition to granting them a 74% property assessment reduction beginning this tax year. In my personal opinion, the only difference I can see between the two owners is Councilor Nick Koloski’s business relationship with the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC. That of leaseholder, the largest tenant in the Topstone building and the possibility of some type of management role with the building. I say the possibility because Councilor Koloski announced a few years ago at a prior Council meeting that he was the key holder to 45 Crescent St., owned by Jon Calkins, one of the owners on record of Topstone Holdings LLC. City administration officials and Councilor Koloski swear that this is nothing more than a coincidence but their words just sound hollow and insincere. To my knowledge, no other property owner in Claremont has received the special privilege treatment experienced by Topstone Holdings LLC. Certainly not the property owners who lost their homes through the tax deeding procedure because city administrative officials and city councilors did not show these property owners the same consideration shown to the out-of-state property owners that make up the partnership of Topstone Holdings LLC.

  • Ralph (Tuesday, September 18 18 10:57 am EDT)

    I read the minutes to the city council meeting about the drive by looting property assessments from 2000 and noticed at the bottom of the last page that Jim Sullivan inquired at the citizen’s forum about the cost of MRI to the taxpayer. He was standing up for the taxpayers way back then. What the hell are our elected representatives doing for us today? Just sitting there like a bunch of idiots with their fingers up their butts while hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars is given to Councilman Nick Koloski’s landlord. Yeah there’s nothing crooked about that deal.

  • Alicia (Tuesday, September 18 18 10:39 am EDT)

    Councilman Scott Pope received the teaching award that of course made front-page news in the Eagle Times today. However, more important news like the two Topstone abatements are not worth a single word of newsprint. It shows where their priorities are for the so-called news staff. Talk about a puff piece for Pope, the way it is written his inflated ego makes it sound like he is running the technical center and the director is taking orders from him. I am surprised Pope can fit his head to the door it is so delusionally inflated.

  • Richard (Tuesday, September 18 18 08:35 am EDT)

    In my opinion, Joe Lessard is a terrible assessor. I remember the drive by assessments and how he socked it to all the property owners around Claremont. I remember how the property assessments went down with the next legitimate assessments. I never liked MRI. When Bob Porter was the city manager, practically every department seemed to be managed by MRI employees costing the taxpayers beaucoup money. Bad times and we are going right back there again.

  • Cheryl (Tuesday, September 18 18 07:57 am EDT)

    The Eagle Times has still not done an article on the Topstone Holdings LLC property tax debt abatement of almost a quarter of $1 million. Now the Sullivan Report uncovers an additional secret abatement of the property assessment variety this time for Topstone Holdings LLC giving them a 74% property assessment reduction with the quarter of $1 million gift. One of the recipients of these magnanimous gifts from the City of Claremont is the property owner for the Eagle Times. Councilman Nick Koloski works for the property owner in some capacity as the key holder and I understand property manager for that building on Crescent St. The Eagle Times editor and the local reporter, who I am told is his wife, and special correspondent Patrick Adrian, whose wife works for the city in the Planning Department are all acting deaf, blind and mute to this issue. Heck even the sickening politically correct E- Ticker News wrote a short halfhearted article about Wednesday’s upcoming Council meeting that the buried in the back of their current weekly edition. Conflicts of interest should not enter into the picture as to what stories are published and what stories are buried. The Eagle Times has sunk to a new low and has become part of the fake news media crowd. I would suggest anyone who has a subscription to not renew it when it comes due. That is what I intend to do.

  • Erik (Tuesday, September 18 18 07:41 am EDT)

    Wow! A $222,000 gift from the city wiping away their tax debt, a 74% reduction in their property tax assessment that will lower their future tax debt, free environmental cleanup of the property in the works, it must be good to have a city councilor for a tenant and maybe a property manager as well. Claremont corruption at its worst.

  • Jim Sullivan (Monday, September 17 18 04:04 pm EDT)

    The Topstone Saga continues! Wait until you see what City Officials did now! Full details on the Topstone Property Tax Abatement page.

  • Mike (Friday, September 14 18 01:40 pm EDT)

    Resigned

  • Mike (Friday, September 14 18 01:38 pm EDT)

    I understand that Scott Sweet reigned as Public Works Director? Everyone is jumping ship seems like.

  • Jim Sullivan (Friday, September 14 18 01:05 pm EDT)

    Claremont's Mostly Uncensored Page, a local Facebook page dedicated to Claremont New Hampshire, is having a field day regarding the secret $222,725.09 Topstone Holdings Inc. property tax debt abatement clandestinely enacted by Claremont City Officials on August 31, 2018. The administrator of the page gave us permission to publish a few of their political cartoons regarding the Topstone property tax debt abatement. They are very funny. Check them out on the News Flashes page.

  • Gerald Moriarty (Friday, September 14 18 11:58 am EDT)

    Good thing the council delayed the job performance of the manager.I think that he should be shown the door.This is a lot of money to not be brought before the council.Too much

  • Jim Sullivan (Friday, September 14 18 10:48 am EDT)

    Just came back from Claremont City Hall. I tried to get the property assessment tax cards for both of Topstone Holdings Inc. properties. I wanted to see if one or both of the properties had received a property assessment abatement of any kind on top of the $222,725.09 property tax debt abatement. When I went to the Assessing Office it was locked up tight with a big sign on the door that says it was closed today but there was no date on the sign. Convenient! Begs the question whether the Assessing Office will be closed through Wednesday since it is in the midst of controversy.

  • Jim Sullivan (Friday, September 14 18 09:41 am EDT)

    New article. Regarding Valley News article in today's edition about the Topstone Holdings Inc. property tax debt abatement. Full details on the News Flashes page.

  • Gerald Moriarty (Thursday, September 13 18 05:27 pm EDT)

    The first thing that I would like to see is this assessor getting the boot.
    I don't know if Steve Snelling is still around but you couldn't ask for a more honest man.I would rehire him ASAP.

  • Jim Sullivan (Thursday, September 13 18 03:27 pm EDT)

    New article.
    COUNCIL TO HOLD SPECIAL MEETING REGARDING TOPSTONE HOLDINGS LLC ABATEMENT!
    Full details on the News Flashes page.

  • David vickers (Thursday, September 13 18 12:09 pm EDT)

    someone do something about the tyrant town manager of Claremont. according to him the water meters arnt faulty and city residents all lie. these same meters new jersey removed as faulty and robbing there citizens

  • Steve (Thursday, September 13 18 11:00 am EDT)

    Eagle Times

    45 Crescent St., Claremont, NH 03743

    Phone: (603) 543-3100 or (800) 545-0347

    Valley News

    News Editor: John Gregg, 603-727-3217

  • Poopsycle (Thursday, September 13 18 10:49 am EDT)

    Could someone post the phone number for Eagle Times newspaper?

    START
    CALLING
    THEM!

  • Michael (Thursday, September 13 18 06:28 am EDT)

    Unbelievable! The Eagle Times and the Valley News did it again. No mention of the Topstone Holdings Inc. property tax bill abatement. The Council spoke about it last night and it was the most controversial subject of the night. It was also the most interesting topic. The media blackout continues. The two newspapers should change their publication's name to the Chicken Times and the Valley Government Sanctioned News. At least then people would know what they were buying, truth in advertising laws and all that.

  • Katherine (Wednesday, September 12 18 10:23 pm EDT)

    I did not like Scott Pope's attitude about the whole Topstone abatement matter. He wanted no part of it and he seemed very angry about it even being discussed in vague terms. He is a city councilor and he is supposed to be representing the public's best interests. What is his problem?

  • Tom (Wednesday, September 12 18 09:26 pm EDT)

    The councilors are clearly feeling the pressure. Mayor Lovett requested a council vote to rescind the rules to add two items to tonight's meeting agenda. One of those items was a brief discussion on the Topstone abatement of taxes for almost 1/4 of $1 million to establish a special meeting to discuss this matter fully. Joe Osgood helped by holding the council's feet to the fire to call that special meeting. The council agreed to meet next Wednesday to hash this all out. Mayor Lovett says the public will be able to speak at that time. Little was said about the incident and Scott Pope acted as if he wanted to bury the whole thing for his good buddy Nick Koloski by saying the whole thing was politically motivated. None of them breathed one word about Jim Sullivan, AJ Maranville or the Sullivan Report as they were the ones responsible for exposing these heinous actions and breaking the story to the public. I think they are all scared of Jim and AJ. I can't wait for next Wednesday.

  • nunya (Wednesday, September 12 18 04:43 pm EDT)

    It has been 1 year and 3 mos.since I have paid Claremonts taxes.I will not feather the nests of teachers firemen or cops,as well as office do nothings at the expense of my own family's well being.I am saving for a move to Tennessee.When the time comes I will strip out every copper wire,and every copper pipe.I will put my furnace in self-destrct meltdown mode until it's a molten puddle of metal on the floor.I will smash every sink and toilet on my way out the door.
    Good luck Claremont.I voted for every candidate that claimed decency,but I have yet to see one that couldn't be bought.This is not corruption on periphery,this place is rotten right to the core.As a person I cannot in good conscience support
    this corruption with one more penney.

  • Linda (Wednesday, September 12 18 12:05 pm EDT)

    Tired of the City of Claremont passing off a high tax bill to small property owners and writing off large corporate owners tax bills, aka, Topstone and also hiding their faulty water meters overcharging some property owners double what they owe and treating them like criminals. Most are seniors on fixed incomes either have to pay up or get a tax lien on their houses.. or move.. like I had to., yet still tryin to pay off a mortgage. Cant rent house because they charge me a fee to do that too. Will go bankrupt and the town will steal my house too, like they have many others in town. Wonder why all three of my kids left the state and have sworn, never to live in Claremont NH. Too much corruption, hiding the facts of how overcharging small property owners is forcing them out of town. City officials know theses things are going on, yet no one will speak out against these wrong doings or they will lose their jobs. Look what happened to the assessor, Snelling, I think, he said property owners were unfairly taxed and he was fired, I don't care what their excuse was, truth is, he was telling the truth Claremont City Hall, did not want known. How can a small town like Claremont pay higher property taxes than Hanover NH?

  • Tom (Wednesday, September 12 18 07:14 am EDT)

    The people who pass themselves off as members of the local press these days are cowards. They cower at the very thought of reporting anything politically incorrect. Their willingness to not report important news such as this $222,000 corporate cash gift to the largest property tax payment avoider in Claremont makes them all part of the fake news crowd. Yes, fake news is a thing.

  • Ken (Wednesday, September 12 18 02:58 am EDT)

    Not surprising. The BJ Bricker closure still has not graced their pages either so I guess it never happened. The Eagle Times and the Valley News have joined the fake news establishment. The E-Ticker News has been a member of the fake news establishment since their first edition. Citizens of Claremont have to rely on social media and the Sullivan Report for the real local news.

  • Sarah (Wednesday, September 12 18 01:38 am EDT)

    The Sullivan Report broke the story about the nearly quarter of a million dollars abatement of property tax debt for the owners of the Topstone property on Monday. Here it is Wednesday morning 1 : 36 AM and I just read both online Wednesday's editions of the Eagle Times and the Valley News and not a word about this scandalous turn of events. Is a cover up underway?

  • Michael (Tuesday, September 11 18 04:52 pm EDT)

    Jim Sullivan has been actively corresponding with other members of the Claremont's mostly uncensored page on Facebook. Answering some questions about the Topstone Holdings LLC abatement for over $222,000. One person asked if anyone knew the identities of the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC. Jim Sullivan replied with the following quote “the names and addresses of three of the owners and/or managers of Topstone Holdings LLC. Steve Bushey from South Burlington Vermont. Jon Calkins of Windsor Connecticut. Frederick Lowen of Hinesburg Vermont. It is entirely possible that there may be other owners”. Reading Jim’s contribution to the discussion sparked a memory that I confirmed online. Jon Calkins owns 45 Crescent St., where the Eagle Times offices are now located. Councilman Nick Koloski has publicly stated many times that he is the manager of that property. Could Councilman Nick Koloski also be the manager of the Topstone property if he is already managing one of Calkins' properties?

  • Richard (Tuesday, September 11 18 03:43 pm EDT)

    I do not like all the cozy connections with Assistant Mayor Allen Damren and MRI, Councilman Nick Koloski and Topstone Holdings LLC and how the city secretly operates in general.

  • Bob (Tuesday, September 11 18 03:42 pm EDT)

    I remember Mr. Lessard’s time here as the assessor as well. Back then, I did not like his demeanor or the way he conducted himself. I cannot believe he is back to plague Claremont property owners again.

  • Michael (Tuesday, September 11 18 02:02 pm EDT)

    My parent’s house was one of the victims of Joseph Lessard’s special brand of property assessment. He assessed my parent’s home for far more than it was worth. I was in the service them so my older sister assisted my parents with the property abatement forms. It was a struggle but they did receive an abatement but it was a lot of work and effort to correct Mr. Lessard’s mistake. Everyone who did not file for an abatement was screwed by the city and unfairly paid more in property taxes than they should have paid. I hope he is not going to do the city reassessment for that will be a disaster for everyone.

  • Todd (Tuesday, September 11 18 01:36 pm EDT)

    Does anyone know if Nick Koloski had anything to do with this? I thought he was the manager of the Topstone building.

  • John (Tuesday, September 11 18 12:19 pm EDT)

    I seem to recall that our Assistant Mayor Allen Damren formerly worked for MRI. Did Allen play a role in MRI’s return to Claremont?

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