NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

December 7, 2012

Amesbury mayor: high tax rate is overhyped

To the Editor:

Things must be going too well in Amesbury. The Newburyport Daily News is back to writing headlines that stir up controversy with no substance. Yes, Amesbury’s tax rate is going up and yes, Amesbury has one of the highest rates, being the 10th highest residential rate in the Commonwealth last year. Last week, the Newburyport Daily News conjectured in an article that Amesbury was possibly going to be number one in the state with a “record breaking” tax rate. Both conjectures are wrong and I’m not sure what “record” they were referring to, but it sounded good.

Tax rates don’t matter, tax bills do. When ranking average single family tax bills, Amesbury was ranked 69th in the state. A respectable rank for the level of services we provide and for being listed along with several dozen western Massachusetts communities that barely exist as local government services go.

So here is a headline for the Newburyport Daily News to run, “40% of all Amesbury Residents to Receive Tax Cut.” Yes, so despite falling values, causing the rate to increase, many residential taxpayers will see their tax bills go down. Of those who are seeing an increase, 46% of those will see an increase of less than $200 for the year.

The average single-family tax bill will increase $128. For this “average”, we have invested $600,000 more in our schools and accelerated much needed infrastructure improvements. A portion of this “average” increase on single-family homes is a result of other categories of residential property values falling at a greater rate than the single-family homes. Most condominium owners will see significant cuts in their tax bills due to the 8% decline in overall condominium values. The single-family homes that will see the larger increases are the newer, larger homes, some of which have actually increased in value by nearly $40,000 in one year.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans