‘Millionaire’s Tax’ Money Brings Extra Road and Sidewalk Money to Haverhill, Other Communities

Mayor James J. Fiorentini looks over sidewalk replacement along Winter Street in 2022. (Courtesy photograph.)

Haverhill and area communities are receiving big boosts in state aid for roadway and transportation projects with additional money coming from last year’s voter-approved “Fair Share” amendment, commonly known as the “millionaire’s tax.”

Haverhill, which already receives about $1.5 million from the state in road aid—known as “Chapter 90”—is set to receive another $769,765 from the $100 million statewide allocation. Gov. Maura Healey said Friday in a press release the state is not putting any strings on the money.

“This funding is particularly impactful because we are empowering cities and towns to decide how to use it to address their unique needs. We are grateful to the legislature for making this funding available and look forward to seeing how the municipalities will use it to strengthen their communities,” she said.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini told WHAV Saturday morning that while he is pleased the city is receiving the extra money, he would have preferred the state to make the allocation an ongoing part of the Chapter 90 formula.

“It’s better for long-term planning. Let’s say that if we know that every year that instead of getting $1.5 million, we know that we’re going to get $2 million, we can have our contractors lined up. We can have our roads fixed up…However, this gives us the extra money that we need. I’m happy with it, but it is not as good as I wanted,” he said.

The extra money may be used for bicycle lanes, new pavement, sidewalks, retaining walks, crossing signals and other transportation projects.

Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll also offered additional examples of how the money may be spent, saying, “This funding will be a critical boost for them to move forward on projects like bridge preservation projects, improving regional transit authority service and expanding multi-modal pathways.”

Officials explained communities will automatically receive the extra money as it is incorporated into each communities’ existing Chapter 90 contract with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

The state said letters with amounts were sent to each community. Officials said, the first $50 million is being distributed using the traditional Chapter 90 formula based on local road mileage (58.33%), population (20.83%), and employment (20.83%). The second $50 million is being distributed using a formula based on each municipality’s share of road mileage.

According to the state Methuen will also receive an additional $588,356; North Andover, $398,763; Groveland, $131,070; and West Newbury, $129,565.

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