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A warning for Easthampton residents

Published: 2/5/2020 7:00:23 PM

Has reality set in yet that taxes and other fees keep going up in Easthampton?

Oh sure, Social Security gave a 1.6% cost of living adjustment just to be offset by the increase of the Part B premium and higher prescription costs. Not a win-win situation, is it?

Let’s not forget the water and sewer rate increases in the city. Oil prices and cable bills also on the rise.

Are you forced to make a decision to be sure to pay your property tax on time so you won’t face the high interest rate on overdue payments? Or are you forced to not purchase oil to heat your home this winter, or cancel your cable or even cut down on groceries?

How can Easthampton people continue to live within their means with all these increases? Seniors and other residents may just about be surviving, but it’s not easy pinching the pennies. How much can their budgets be stretched?

Well, buckle up and tighten your belts even more — lurking behind a closed door soon to be opened is the stormwater runoff fees. The Department of Public Works discussed these fees at its Jan. 28 meeting and has scheduled a public hearing for Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. I’m hoping residents will show up and voice their opposition to yet another fee/tax.

Easthampton seems to be picking up the bad habits of Northampton; it seems to be a “monkey see, monkey do” attitude which is ludicrous and absurd.

As Mr. Donald Torrey in his Jan. 16 letter to the editor pointed out, the City Council should be working on the burden of all these increases impacting residents in Easthampton, instead of spending $80,000 on pickle ball courts. Priorities? What are the marijuana monies being used for? Have we seen any accountability as to where these marijuana monies are landing?

I’m thinking it might be better to go back to the old days when we had selectmen running the town/city and show the mayor and city councilors to the curb.

Property tax increases put seniors and others on a fixed income in a dire situation. When is the bleeding going to stop? The city of Easthampton needs to be more fiscally responsible and start budgeting within its means instead of relying on its residents to carry the burden.

It’s time to take a stand. No more taxes or fee increases. Enough is enough!

Bonnie Harrison


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