Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

December 19, 2013

Program explores charter school debate

(Continued)

Thanks as well to the following for their participation and involvement in the JFK events: NECC President Lane Glenn, Professors Jim Murphy, Andrew Morse and Ligia Domenech; student Christopher Cox, guest speakers Frank O’Connor of Andover and Ron Martin of Lawrence, all of the student volunteers, members of the public and the college community who helped in any way; Lawrence Cable TV; Salem, N.H., Cable TV and WHAV Radio in Haverhill.

With so much competing television coverage of the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, it was both an honor and a pleasure to organize a remembrance program that was local, hands-on and personalized.

Richard Padova

High Street

Professor, Northern Essex Community College

Bloated town budgets the real problem

Editor, Townsman:

At the recent Tri-Board meeting, I pointed out that residential property taxes have increased 46 percent over the last 10 years. Affording these increases is not just a problem for the seniors on fixed incomes.

These taxes are paid from household incomes, which have not risen at the same rate. According to the U.S. Census statistics, Andover’s median income rose by 17.8 pecent. When property taxes are rising more than 2.5 times as fast as income used to pay the taxes, a crisis cannot be far behind. The town manager said that property taxes may have gone up 46 percent in 10 years, but that’s because property values have increased and the taxes are based on the property values.

According to the 2013 Annual Town Meeting Finance Committee Report, the average residential tax was $5,466 in fiscal 2003 and $7,967 in fiscal 2013 — an increase of 45.75 percent. During the same period, the average assessed value increased from $470,000 in fiscal 2003 to $549,070 in fiscal 2013 — an increase of only 16.8 percent. Taxes, meanwhile, grew 2 1/2 times faster than home values and they are projected to rise another 13 percent by fiscal 2016.

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