Letter: Affordable housing developers don't need or deserve tax break
To the editor:
On July 28, a news conference was held regarding the affordable housing project now proposed for Palmer Pointe in Barrington. Town council president June Speakman and resident Gary Morse were featured.
Much of the conference centered on tax abatements offered to the developer of the land by the town and paid for by the current taxpayers of Barrington. A sticky subject. During the question and answer period, the mention of senior housing came up very briefly.
Ms. Speakman stated that although Barrington doesn’t have much affordable housing for seniors, they are offered a reduction in their tax bills. Sounding that “they” should be happy for this kindness.
I am a recipient of that tax reduction. It amounted to about $100+ this past year. What a wonderful gift from the town to me. I have been paying taxes since 1967 to the town. A lot of years of no reduction, just higher each year.
The town boards: planning, housing trustees, zoning and the members of the town council should step up to the plate and make room for the ongoing retirees who want to stay in Barrington, continue to volunteer on various boards and committees and enjoy peaceful tranquility in their later years without being up-rooted and booted out of town!
We want more than $100+ a year. We want a small, cozy spot to retire in. But what do we get? Watching a lovely, quiet spot overlooking the Palmer River chopped up and sold to a developer who will stuff his pockets with our “tax gift” and filled with those who come to town for the schools and will leave their mark forever on our shoulders.
This town has money — not sure what they plan to do with it, but it is there for the comfort and care of the residents. How do I help the friends and strangers who call me asking if I can help, some have offered money to hire a developer. Help us, soon there will be no more land.