Guest Opinion: Council Tax Vote Wasn’t a Balanced Decision

By Demet Haksever

I can’t be happy with the council’s vote last night although there was a small improvement in division of taxes. It again ended up giving tax breaks to the commercial and industrial property (CIP) class, while increasing taxes for the homeowners.

Homeowner’s taxes will now increase by $58 instead of $88 voted last Tuesday, while the taxes for the CIP will still go down by $114 instead of $126 in 2016, again transferring income from homeowners to mostly big business. This wasn’t a balanced decision given that both the residential property and the CIP values increased last year. I think we are wasting homeowners’ money by giving those tax breaks because that will hardly make any dent in terms of bringing new business or increasing jobs in the city. For example, the tax break of $114 will translate only to $20 for a small business owner with a property value of a $100,000, while a big business which has a property of $10 million or more will receive about couple of thousand dollars, which will hardly make any difference in their costs.

That money would have been better used if, for example, the difference was donated to local organizations that are working hard every day to reduce poverty in Haverhill, or if it was invested in projects that improve education and other services in the city. Those investments would benefit the small business more compared to a miniscule tax break. I think a vision change is badly needed in Haverhill. That will happen only if residents are a part of that effort and voice their opinions.

Representatives of the business community have also been invited to submit their reactions to Monday night’s city council vote.

One thought on “Guest Opinion: Council Tax Vote Wasn’t a Balanced Decision

  1. “I think a vision change is badly needed in Haverhill.” –

    Where have you been?

    Just in the past few years the cost of our city government has increased as a percent by triple digits. During the same time, The People of this city and this state have become poorer, with only the very top percentiles making any gains, most of whom do not live in Haverhill.

    “That will happen only if residents are a part of that effort and voice their opinions.” –

    Have you looked at voter turnout? It’s beyond abysmal, approximately 12% of registered voters showed up earlier this month. Voter apathy, ignorance, or The People just fed up with government in general no longer show up to vote. “Mayor for Life” Jimmy was unopposed, and even if someone could take him out, Brian Dempsey can use his position to utterly destroy whoever took over the reigns of the city by not grabbing the “state aid” that keeps this insolvent city going.

    “working hard every day to reduce poverty in Haverhill” –

    That’s a tall order in a state with the highest income disparity in the nation with a growing poverty rate in general, in a city that is below state poverty levels and lesser income levels with well over a 100K on SNAP benefits n Essex County alone! It is made worse by the fact that people are still finding it hard to find a FULL-TIME job, where weekly work hours in both Haverhill and Massachusetts in general are below the national average rates. The jobs available are mostly found in low paying service sectors, and good paying manufacturing jobs fate was sealed decades ago through NAFTA thanks to the likes of Ed Markey & Marty Meehan sending those jobs overseas – Real swell guys I tell ya’.

    Throw in a massive deflationary environment, minus items we need like food & healthcare, anyone carrying debt is simply going to be obliterated. Of course, in a pay-to-play city and state like Massachusetts, Crony Capitalism will see fit that the players are taken care of and The People get served cake! Taxpayers, what’s left of us, will be robbed blind of both the fruits of our labor and liberties, while government continues their mathematical train wreck solely for the benefit of themselves and crony friends who enable and donate to keep the party going.

    Bottom line: We’re being economically exterminated by the decisions of our own government at all levels, and The People vote/ask for more. There is no courage in our political establishment to change course because most of them benefit from such. The People sure as heck have shown they will do nothing, exacerbating politicians brazenness to not only ignore The People further, but to usurp or unequally enforce the rule of law and outright destroy us and the foundations of how this Republic was formed.

    Balance sheets do in fact matter; government, corporate, and HOUSEHOLD, it’s unfortunate members of our own government are too spineless or corrupt to do anything about it.