Friday, August 11, 2017

An Ongoing Concern

I am a bit of a broken record, but I am compelled to keep talking about the need to stabilize our taxes! 

Like many candidates I have been walking around the neighborhoods of our community for the last couple of months.  One of the concerns I have had going into this campaign was the high residential tax rate.  Talking with people at their homes, I have more than satisfied myself that mine are not isolated concerns.

Framingham’s single tax rate is higher than any town around.  Luckily the homeowner does not feel the entire impact, because Framingham “shifts” excess burden to businesses.  However, in order to compare the cost of our municipal operation, this is the rate we should use.  Framingham’s rate in 2017 is $21.52.  Natick (which actually uses a single tax rate) is $13.49.  If we were taxing apples to apples, it would cost over $800 more in taxes per $100,000 of value to live in Framingham rather than Natick.   A $300,000 house in Framingham would cost $2,400 more in taxes.

Due to the rate split that is not the case.  But it still costs $325 more per $100,000 of valuation to live in Framingham. The $300,000 house in Framingham only costs about $1,000 more a year than in Natick.   Some people say, yeah but a $300,000 house in Framingham is worth at least $450,000 in Natick so they will actually pay more!!  Well that may be so, but why are Framingham’s values down 5% over the last ten years and Natick’s are up 10%?

Values play a critical role, because If you were enjoying a significant uptick in home value, maybe the level of taxes would be more acceptable.  State statistics show that on the average your home is worth a bit less than it was 10 years ago in Framingham, but the tax bill is up over 30% in that same time frame.  Rising taxes and lowering values is an economic pitfall that must be rectified.

We have to make our government more efficient and I believe the city council form of government can do that.  I have the commitment, knowledge and experience to help the city council accomplish that task.  We do not have to reduce services; revenue growth has been robust in Framingham.  We have to spend efficiently and effectively.  We need to work hard to increase our values and decrease our taxes.  That is the approach that will benefit our economy and our quality of life.  I am committed to fighting to keep Framingham affordable for all of us.  I ask for your support on September 26th and November 7th.

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