Aldermen seeking answers on tax rate

February 25, 2010
By

Taxes.

Whether you are talking commercial or residential that is the word that everyone is talking about in Everett. And it is no wonder that the Board of Aldermen had two items on their agenda on Monday night about both tax rates.

Mayor Carlo DeMaria appeared before the Board to discuss the granting of up to 10% exemption to Class Three commercial parcels.

“The exemption looks good, and would probably help about 438 small owners,” DeMaria said.

All the aldermen detailed stories of how the $37 commercial rate is adversely affecting local businesses.

“I do a lot of business in the city and hearing about the commercial tax rate being like a second mortgage is difficult for me,” Alderwoman Millie Cardello said.

Alderman Joseph McGonagle said, “There is an outrage in the business community … they are hurting.”

“We need to tighten our belt. We are spending too much,” Aldermen Michael Marchese said.

The mayor, who inherited the high tax rate, has been doing his best to cut city spending at a time when investment in the city, tax collections are significantly lower than they were four years ago and while expenses have risen dramatically.

“There is no duplication of jobs here. If there are, just point them out to me on TV or anywhere else. I am available anytime,” the mayor said.

DeMaria also noted that there are fixed costs that have double digit increases that he has no option to pay like pension and healthcare costs.

He noted that the city had just been hit with a $500,000 bill resulting from the stimulus funding. Earlier in the month, the School Committee noted that they will have to pay with no state re-imbursement an extra $250,000 in busing local students who are now in shelters outside of the city.

In closing, DeMaria reminded everyone present that he is hosting a summit Wednesday evening at Orsogna Plaza, 316 Main Street from 5 to 8 p.m. to discuss the commercial tax rate.

On the residential tax rate and the 20% homeowner exemption, Board of Assessors Chairman Bill Hart told the Aldermen that the majority of homeowners do receive a benefit from the exemption. Presently, a home owner is able to deduct $53,000 from his assessed value and pay the current rate of $13.51 per thousand, while without the exemption the residential tax rate would be $11.22 per thousand with no exemption. Hart also noted that about 100 homeowners are not benefiting from the program.

Both measures are to be followed closely by the Aldermen to determine if there is any benefit of having an exemption for both residential and commercial owners. DeMaria said that he will be able to supply all different fiscal scenarios by September 15 before the 2011 tax rate is set.

If all is in order

You will cruise

Several owners looking to have their motor dealer licenses approved found the Aldermen more than willing to stamp their approval with no discussion. The reason all their paperwork and taxes have been paid.

Whereas, a petition for Terry Onessimo to sell flowers was denied as the Aldermen were very upset that there could still be unpaid taxes due to the City of Everett.

“Why waste our time with this,” Alderman Charles DiPerri asked.

New ordinances

Get the money in

The revocation of several licenses needed to be changed at the last minute as five businesses came in to pay their fee on license renewal.

City Clerk Michael Matarazzo credited the five businesses paying promptly to avoid a cease and desist order to an ordinance that was recently passed by the Aldermen.