NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

March 19, 2013

Amesbury spending report wasn't 'deeply flawed'

To the editor:

With the news of spending and taxing proposals flowing out the mayor’s office like sparks from a Roman candle, it may be good to remind Amesbury residents of the work done by a local citizens committee, also known as the ad hoc committee.

Three years ago, Councilor Robert Lavoie sponsored this committee so Amesbury could get some sense of why its citizens were feeling frustrated that their taxes and consequently their tax rates were growing out of proportion.

It was headed by Jonathan Sherwood, who made sure it was done openly and fairly and with a variety of views on the committee. It was a straightforward comparison of similar-size cities and towns throughout Massachusetts. The reasoning was to objectively look at such towns and take into account household incomes, which reflect the ability to pay the actual property taxes, and return this information to the council publicly so that it could use it as a guide for future planning and spending.

As Mr. Sherwood was quoted in The Daily News, the report “is what it is.”

As in all statistical analysis, outliers were removed as to not unfairly skew the data one way or another. Its essential conclusion was that Amesbury spends over 9.5 percent of its household income on property taxes where the average of like-size communities was 5.6 percent, a full 70 percent higher. This is why so many households have trouble coming to grips with their tax bills.

The analysis of the ad hoc committee has been posted online for the past three years for anyone to see. Nothing was hidden from view and can be seen here: http://sites.google.com/site/2010amesburyadvisorygroup/.

There was nothing “deeply flawed” about the ad hoc committee analysis and those who have said so have never said why.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans