The naive attitude of “if you build it, they will come” has proven over and over again to be a fallacy. In fact, the annual new growth of Amesbury’s tax base has been in a free fall over the past six years, going from $50,778,000 in 2007 to a paltry $14,162,000 in 2013 (city bond prospectus, city assessor, and FY2014 city budget). The preponderance of vacant commercial properties is proof positive, and it’s the residential taxpayers and school system who’ve been left holding the bag. This must stop.
While it’s clear we need to attract business to Amesbury to reduce our tax burden, it’s equally clear that a proactive approach by a high tech and business savvy mayor is vastly superior to an entrenched five-term politician sitting around waiting for businesses to discover us.
That’s why I support Ken Gray for mayor of Amesbury.