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Supports a ‘Yes’ vote on the override



Published: 2/11/2020 5:00:20 PM

I urge Northampton voters to vote “yes” on the override vote March 3 if they want to see our police, fire and educational services maintained at reasonable levels.

The mayor and City Council have no wish to ask property owners for a tax increase, but have their hands tied by a misguided, anti-tax referendum passed in Massachusetts 40 years ago. With a 2.5% limit on property taxes, there is no way cities and towns can keep up with inflation.

Like so many other cities and towns in our state, Northampton has been forced to make frequent cuts and ask for the occasional override. Fortunately, our city government’s sound fiscal management has made it possible to put off this override for several extra years.

My tax bill will increase by about $150. If your home is worth $300,000, your bill will go up about $200. There are exemptions for low-income seniors.

While none of us enjoy paying more, consider the alternatives: decreased police and fire staffing, fewer DPW services and severe staffing cuts to our schools. There is no “fluff” in the city’s budget. If you’re interested, look at the city’s online “visual budget” to see how our tax dollars are being spent.

Please join me on Tuesday, March 3, and vote in support of this override. It will benefit us all.

Kim Gerould

Northampton

The writer is an English as a second language teacher at Jackson Street School.



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