Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Open letter to the Charlestown Town Council

January 3, 2012 - On December 12, 2011, the Town Council majority addressed the interests of non-resident and high-value property owners when it rejected the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee’s proposal for a $1000 Homestead Tax Credit.

Amid the long and bitter denunciation of our proposal was the occasional glimmer of concern for the more than 2000Charlestownhouseholds who live in more modest homes. These residents struggle to make ends meet in this tough economy where jobs are scarce, benefits are being cut, food and energy prices are rising while home values are falling and credit is in short supply.

We designed our proposal, patterned after the other tax credits in our town, for theseCharlestownfamilies. You turned that proposal down. We understand that. It’s politics.

But now we are all left with this question: what, if anything, will this Town Council do to provide struggling middle and lower-income homeowners with tax relief?

Councilors Avedisian and Frank both suggested that there should be more study done of the issues of tax justice inCharlestown.

The Charlestown Democratic Town Committee asks you to act on their recommendation and assemble a body of citizens to review the economic concerns ofCharlestownresidents with an eye toward specific tax remedies.

We urge that this body be representative of the people who actually live and vote inCharlestown, rather than the non-residents who dominated the December 12 proceedings. Of course, as the initiators of this process, we respectfully request a meaningful presence on that body.

Though we were disappointed with the outcome of the December 12 meeting, we believe the Town Council owesCharlestown’s working families at least as much concern and attention as you gave to the non-residents who convinced you to kill our Homestead Tax Credit proposal.

Catherine O’Reilly Collette, Chair