, Newburyport, MA

April 15, 2014

Tax rate stops move to Amesbury

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

My wife and I were considering moving to Amesbury from Dracut until we saw how burdensome the taxes are here. I thought the tax rate of $20.97 was high but that the property assessments would be low. Wrong! Tax rate in Dracut is $14.49 and that puts my home at $4,800 per year. Here, a similar property would run between $7,000 and $8,000 per year.

Dracut, like Amesbury, has a universal tax rate. The population in Dracut is higher, 28,000 to 16,000, but like Amesbury, there is not much industry, with Hannaford’s supermarket being Dracut’s largest employer.

I don’t understand why there is not a tax revolt in this town. Why are residents complacent about it? Where is the money going? If I lived here, I would not stand for it. I’d be at every town meeting asking why is it so high and where is it all going? Your town leaders should be giving you real answers and not just the “taxes are high everywhere” quote, which is nothing but a cop-out and completely untrue.

You need to elect fiscally responsible leaders who look out for the taxpayers; otherwise, you’re heading to a point where your property will be worth less and less and you’ll still have trouble selling it because no one outside your city will be willing to take on that tax rate. It stopped me.

David Hogue