City Council President John A. Michitson.
Haverhill city councilors are seeking additional, “critical financial and planning data” from the administration, in advance of its annual property tax rate deliberations in November.
The council voted 9 to 0 Tuesday on a motion, by President John A. Michitson, asking Mayor James J. Fiorentini to provide an updated five-year tax plan, with projected revenues and expenses, to supplement data provided each year by City Assessor Stephen C. Gullo. Michitson said a similar document used during annual budget reviews was last updated in June. He also noted Gullo “does a great job” in giving the council property tax comparisons, at various classification factors, between city residential and commercial landowners as well as “compare our rates with other cities and towns.”
“That provides us with a good view of what the possible tax factors and tax rates are. However it really doesn’t provide the context, the impact of what we’re doing,” Michitson said. “This is probably the only one I’m going to request because I’ve been able to already get a hold of all the other documents that I recommended.”
A tax classification hearing by the council, for the current city budget, is scheduled Nov. 15. The annual hearing typically draws speakers for residential and business property owners into the council debate on setting the tax burden ratio between the two assessment categories.
In other business, councilors voted unanimously to vacate a demolition order, as requested by Building Inspector Richard Osborne, on a fire-damaged property at 425 Washington St. According to Osborne, the multi-family structure, damaged in an October, 2014, fire, was “properly demolished at the expense of the owner,” identified in city documents as Abelardo and Blanca Nunez.
“I appreciate the effort by Mr. Nunez to abate this public nuisance and comply with the City’s order to demolish this fire damaged structure,” Osborne wrote in a memo last Friday.