, Newburyport, MA

Breaking News

Local News

December 11, 2012

Amesbury council, mayor heading to tax showdown tonight


Ferguson added that the deadline for the council to vote on the classification hearing is Dec. 17 in order for it to be sent to the state by Dec. 20.

“It ain’t happening this year,” Lavoie said.

Not all of the councilors agreed with that assessment, however, nor did most of the residents in attendance. Jim Thivierge of Friend Street pointed out that the city could send out estimated tax bills if the council decided not to vote on the tax classification hearing, and former Selectman Claude Gonthier asked how much it would really cost the city if they did so.

Councilor Donna McClure suggested the council take those suggestions seriously and look into it.

“I think we can do something, I think it’s a matter of if this council has a little bit of intestinal fortitude,” McClure said. “We can table the classification meeting until the mayor speaks to a few more people.”

“I’m asking the council to think about it tonight, think about how much it will cost us if the tax bills don’t go out and we have to borrow,” she added.

Nobody on hand could say exactly what would happen if Amesbury were to table the tax classification hearing and end up sending out estimated tax bills, if that were even allowed as Thivierge suggested. The councilors indicated they would be seeking answers from the mayor today and would be willing to table the hearing if there was any possibility that doing so could ultimately prompt the mayor into using free cash to lower the tax rate. Amesbury has about $1.2 million in free cash, which is money left over from the fiscal year that ended June 30.

In response to Kezer’s stance that using free cash funds would be fiscally irresponsible and that the tax bill is the figure that really matters, Councilor Derek Kimball said that the high tax rate lends itself to a problem of perception.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Special Features