Guest Opinion: More Commercial Property Good for Residents

Jeff Linehan with former Gov. Deval Patrick.

By Jeff Linehan
President, Diversified Business Systems

Having more commercial property in Haverhill is good for the residents.

Over the last 10 years the percentage of residential property compared to commercial property has risen to 88 percent of the total base. This is not good news for the residents of Haverhill as they now must pay a much larger share of the operating budget for the city. This is a direct reaction to the fact that the commercial base is penalized at more than 50 percent in taxes.

There is more commercial property in Methuen and also more commercial property in Andover, which is classified as a town. If the city is interested in bringing more commercial property into Haverhill and jobs, it needs to stop penalizing the commercial real estate owner. Otherwise more and more commercial property will be converted to residential housing.

It all comes down to economics. Why is commercial property being converted to housing? Because it makes business sense. It’s the same reason why all the retail business moved from Haverhill to New Hampshire. It makes business sense (no taxes).

It’s official. Haverhill is now a bedroom community. Which might not be a bad thing!

An opposing view appears here.