NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 28, 2013

Tax relief planned for owners of destroyed homes on Plum Island

(Continued)

Town officials this spring will come up with a budget figure to fund town and school expenses. Property tax will be levied with the intent of reaching the final budget figure.

Blais said, “I am going to draft a special measure that would assist homeowners with damaged properties” that would provide for a smaller tax payment.

Some observers had questioned whether the town would be hobbled if property-tax collections were reduced, but selectmen Chairman Joe Story said that events on Plum Island won’t damage town finances.

“It’s a relatively small number of houses,” said Story. He added that he did not feel the state Department of Environmental Protection would have objections to homeowners putting up new or improved houses on land that they own.

Community leaders estimate that almost all damaged houses carried insurance, and thus it appears that numerous homeowners will be able to rebuild.

Joslin — as well as representatives from the state DEP — indicated that those who apply for building permits will be able to obtain them if they meet the appropriate criteria.

Joslin stressed that a key component of plans for new oceanside houses is “elevation,” constructing or moving homes onto steel pilings that are driven deep into the sand.

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