Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Carl Erickson: Don’t let high taxes drive people from Northampton

To the editor:

I commend the Daily Hampshire Gazette for its honest, front-page, top-of-the-fold article, “Taxing Times,” in Monday’s edition. For me, the article said, “Enough is enough.”

A 20 percent increase in our property taxes and a 35 percent increase in our water and sewer rates in four years are starting to really hurt many of us. It’s hard to believe a majority of the voters would want to add $235 to our annual tax bills. The city has plenty of money to run itself well, and, if not, can find other sources to tap other than the property owners again so soon.

Northampton is a great place to live, and we don’t want to be driven out by cost.

Carl Erickson

Northampton

Legacy Comments1

Dear Carl: let's be clear, no one WANTS to pay more taxes. Nobody. Contrary to popular opinion, the people who are voting Yes are not skipping into the voting booths and wringing our hands in a sinister manner, delighting in the fact that we are robbing grandma of her last shekel. Tough times call for tough actions and these are tough times indeed. The schools have been cut and cut and cut and cut again. There is absolutely no way the schools can be cut again without damaging the quality of education provided there. Furthermore, I hear a lot of people such as yourself claim, "the city has plenty of money," or "the city mishandles its money," but the fact of the matter is this problem is far bigger than nitpicking park benches, bike path artwork, or a couple of cop cars. The state has backed us into a corner by cutting $35 MILLION dollars over the last 10 years - and those cuts have been borne on the backs of our teachers and our students. They have suffered cut after cut to the tune of nearly 40 full-time teachers and countless lost programs and resources. The Mayor has done his level best to cut costs (I don't need to list them again - it's on the Yes! Northampton website). What else can we do? It's time to step up one more time and do the right thing for our community.

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