Over the past year, it has been hard to figure exactly where Selectman Bowers is coming from. At this week’s Selectmen’s meeting he spelled it out. Take a look at the video at about 2:12:00 into the session.
He states plainly that he would be OK with a tax rate of $15. Think about it, that would mean that the average lakefront home would pay around $45,000 per year in taxes. Not long ago these same homes were paying a quarter of that. I recently commented here on the reasons why we have a relatively low combined tax rate, how our town rate is average, and why it needs to stay low.
If you back up a little in the video, you will see where he also feels that he is unfairly paying for the sewer system because he isn’t connected. Does he even know what’s going on? He makes a big deal out of the fact that he paid thousands of dollars for his septic system. I’m on the sewer system. I have no choice. Voters throughout the town long ago voted to compel my property to connect, even though it had a working septic system that probably cost as much as his. I also have a septic tank which must be pumped as often as his, and I have an effluent pump that I recently had to replace. As well, my property was assessed a betterment fee when it was hooked up, so all in all it has cost more than his arrangement, and I have the privilege of paying sewer fees to dispose of what I could just as well have pumped to a leaching field.
The issue is water quality in the lake as well as having many users to pay for a system to support what is needed for a functional downtown, schools, and hospital. Users pay for the operation, everyone pays for the infrastructure. I’d be fine with connecting my leaching field back up, stop paying sewer fees, and reduce the town’s sewer load. Make a motion Mr. Bowers.
Intertwined in his speech, were constant references to Town Hall. He seems to lament the fact that people are willing to spend on everything but that. Maybe he will realize at some point that it’s not about spending the money, it’s about spending it wisely. So maybe we don’t end up with a $15 tax rate.