To the Editor:
I saw the candidates forum last week, and was impressed that candidates were promoting local business. I was not, however, impressed that At Large City Council candidates Peter Blais, Anthony Parziale, and Kim Allard were advocating higher taxes for homeowners at a time when people are un-employed, under employed, and home foreclosures are at an all time high.
Several years ago, the Chamber of Commerce testified before the City Council saying that real estate taxes are a concern, but not near the top of the list of whether a business will locate here. Factors, such as availability of parcels ready for development, an able workforce, cost of skilled employees, availability of utilities, permitting costs by the health and building inspection department, and the availability of state and local tax credits are factors that play a more significant role in deciding to locate here.
It was especially discouraging to see Councilor Kim Allard advocating for higher taxes to homeowners in light of the fact that she did not pay her own real estate taxes (on time) on the property that was gifted to her. Only after the issue was covered in the Sun Chronicle did she pay the overdue taxes (overdue by two billing periods). It would seem that city officials who advocate for higher taxes should at least demonstrate the willingness to pay their own taxes.
With all due respect, I would suggest not creating undue burdens on homeowners, but offer potential new businesses reasonable tax incentives, create buildable lots, and marketing our available workforce will do more to attract business than a minuscule property tax adjustment at the expense of struggling homeowners.