40 Dickinson Street, Amherst
Amherst Town Meeting will weigh the taking of private property by eminent domain this coming session after citizens petitions were filed by yesterday's noon deadline (only requiring the signatures of ten registered voters).
Amherst College, the largest landowner in Amherst, recently purchased the Classic Chevy building on Dickinson Street, adjacent to some of their holdings, and the College plans to continue using it as a garage for their large fleet of vehicles.
The building was assessed at $548,200 and sold for $474,000.
Problem is the building now comes off the tax rolls since it is owned by a tax exempt educational institute and therefor will not pay a little over $10,000 in property taxes this year (or any year hereafter).
A few years back Amherst College also purchased the Fiber Arts Building in the downtown and removed that from the tax rolls as well (formerly paid $16,000 in taxes).
But Amherst College is also the #1 taxpayer in town for all the houses they own and rent to professors, as well as the commercial Amherst Golf Course and Lord Jeff Inn, paying roughly $500,000 this year.
And on top of that they will "donate" to the town $90,000 (for AFD protection) and another $75,000 to the Schools.
Echo Village Apartments
If Town Meeting approves an eminent domain article, which requires a two-thirds vote, the Amherst Select Board still must approve the taking by a majority vote.