Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Death and Taxes

The Zombie tax increase that refuses to die returns to Town Meeting this spring courtesy of a citizens petition signed by ten registered voters. 

Amherst first passed the Community Preservation Act, a sort of sneaky way around Prop 2 1/2, in 2001 at  the 1% level, then increased it to 1.5% in 2006, but failed to double that to 3% in 2008.

Now it's back for another go at 3% -- the highest allowed by state law.

CPA money, plus a 28% match with state money, can only be used for affordable housing, open space and historical preservation.  Each of the three categories must be allotted at least 10% annually and the other 70% can then go back to any one of the three categories, or for recreation.

This year about $500,000 will be raised between local taxpayers and the 28% state matching funds.

The tax is unfair to business because homeowners get an exemption of the first $100,000 in valuation but commercial property owners do not.  And Amherst also recently passed a Business Improvement District in the downtown that also increased the property taxes paid by commercial property owners.

Can you imagine if the $15/hour minimum wage bylaw and the extra 1.5% CPA property tax surcharge are both enacted by Town Meeting?  Amherst town center will become a ghost town.


Anonymous said...

Um, Larry, it is a ghost town except for students. The merchants nearly die every summer -- most of us cannot afford to eat out every day and there's nothing to buy!

Anonymous said...

Raising minimum wage and taxes to be paid by the rich elite BMW driving, children in prep school, vacation home on the Cape business owners of Amherst, what a great idea.

Oh, that's right, they all disappeared decades ago. I guess the starving stragglers just grasping onto their dreams will die next.

Go anti-business Amherst.

Dr. Ed said...

It also is unfair to low-income tenants, who tend to live in multi-unit properties.

Even if a rental landlord gets the exemption, it is divided amongst the units and hence the rental unit is taxed more than an O/O property of the same value.

QED this isn't fair to tenants, who are the folks who wind up paying the property taxes on the units they are renting.

This karma is overtaking you said...

I hear Vlad's troops are annexing Ponziville, next.

Exploit the enemy's weakness, they're shouting.

I mean, the whole world knows this festering dump lifted Uncle Barry, mightily.

Ahhhh yes, again and again and again:

incubated in Amherst, inviting pain and suffering upon the whole planet.

Oh vile little village,

"you lie!".


Yours, every-step-of-the-way,

-Squeaky the sewer rat