Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A tale of two signs



So four years ago when the town ripped off the state's design logo for signage (that Mass charges $1,200 annually per location) Hickory Ridge Golf Course was paying for this sign in South Amherst, but Cherry Hill in North Amherst got theirs for free (two of them).

May sound like a minor competitive advantage, but another major one is Hickory Ridge pays the town over $17,000 annually in property taxes while Cherry Hill pays zero. Even the 9-hole Amherst Golf Course, owed by tax-exempt Amherst College pays over $7,000 annually in property taxes.


Just another hidden cost of our municipal white elephant.

16 comments:

Thomas said...

Hey Larry, where did you get that information on the signs? I've heard numbers ranging from a $300 one time cost to install the sign and that's it to your claim of $1200 per year per sign. I just want to know what's accurate.

Thanks, Tom

Anonymous said...

and the kids that leave Amherst public schools to attend charter schools lose us $10K/student and if we take school choice kids into public schools we get $5K/student.

All depends on who gets what out of the public coffers doesn't it.

Anonymous said...

What expenses you are talking about? They don't pay for the sign you say, so that's not an expense. They don't pay taxes. Well, duh, the town owns it so it doesn't pay taxes to itself. Town Hall and the Police Station don't pay taxes either.

LarryK4 said...

Well Thomas, I have a two gig harddrive in the back of my head and I just remember that Gov Romney (those damn Republicans) thought the one time $1,200 was not enough considering the exposure, so he signed legislation to make it an annual fee.

Yes, Anon 11:13 losing kids to Charter Schools (most notably Pioneer Valley Performing Arts and now of course that damn Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School) costs the venerable Amherst schools the exact amount tax support cost of education per child.

And in the case of Amherst since they have such a HIGH average cost it actually reroutes about $14,000 per kid.

So improve the Amherst public school offerings in performance art and Chinese and maybe they would lose less.

And last I looked education was a tad more of a priority than, say, golf.

LarryK4 said...

Anon 11:33
The Cherry Hill Golf Course spent the vast majority of its miserable municipal existence as an Enterprise Fund--so it was actually assessed a property tax (not that they ever paid it.)

Three or four years ago the town decided that the Golf Course could never break even (especially considering the expensive Capital items like all that heavy equipment required to run a golf business) and nixed the Enterprise Fund and just rolled it into the Leisure Services empire where lots of costs could be hidden.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather play at Cherry Hill than at that snooty Hickory Ridge any day.

LarryK4 said...

Well of course, especially since the taxpayers of Amherst are picking up some of the costs (and you are probably not even an Amherst taxpayer)

Anonymous said...

these signs cost $17,000 a year, another municipal white elephant. What's more source? Larrey Kelly of course.

LarryK4 said...

Well, since the town is starting to get a tiny bet better about transparency you can go to the assessors page on the town website and look up what Hickory Ridge Golf Course or Amherst Golf Course pays in taxes each year. Nitwit

Anonymous said...

White on blue. How original. Does the state hold a trademark on that?

What's next, Larry, complaining about stop signs?

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, actually if a pizza joint on University Drive suddenly erected their own Stop Sign with the official white on red octogan, I would complain.

Anonymous said...

Someone should erect a red octogon here....

LarryK4 said...

Yeah that would be called CENSORSHIP, and I'm sure you would dance an Irish Jig if somebody did.

Anonymous said...

Um, people put up stop signs on private ways all the time. Ever heard of a parking lot? There's no law against it.

LarryK4 said...

Um, University Drive is not a private way. Neither is this blog.

Thomas said...

Wow...that's steep. But thanks for letting me know, appreciate it.