“It’s a lovely town with great schools and there are a ton of things that this town has to offer,” Donahue-Scott said. “However, the first knee-jerk reaction from anyone moving to the area is ‘too high taxes.’”
That’s a problem. It’s a problem that can’t be quantified by a mathematical equation, but it carries huge ramifications for the city nonetheless. You can point to all the great things that Amesbury has to offer, and you can make all the arguments about the tax rate vs. tax bill that you want, but at the end of the day, if people only see that tax rate, then everything else becomes moot.
So what should the city do?
Taxes in Amesbury have been an issue for a long time, and they’re likely going to remain a hot-button issue for the foreseeable future. There’s no easy fix, and there are a lot of factors that are out of the city’s control.
Regardless, if the city and its residents can engage in a meaningful dialogue on this issue, then progress can be made and the discussion can become less venomous.
As with any political issue, there are always going to be people who see things from different angles. That’s why it’s important that both sides see the whole story and can at least understand where the other side is coming from.
The following meetings are scheduled this week and are open to the public:
City Council, 7 p.m., City Hall Auditorium, Friend Street
School Committee Policy Subcommittee, 9 a.m., superintendent’s office
Board of Assessors, 5:15 p.m., City Hall Auditorium
Conservation Commission, 6:30 p.m., Amesbury Health Center, 24 Morrill Place
Mac Cerullo covers Amesbury for The Daily News. He can be reached at 978-462-6666, ext. 3238, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Mac on Twitter at @MacCerullo.