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Clintonians open wallets for open space, seniors

Posted by Martin Finucane September 13, 2007 02:00 PM


Bucking a statewide trend, Clinton voters said 'yes' on Wednesday to two Proposition 2 1/2 property tax hikes that will authorize the town to acquire about 62 acres of open space and to build a senior center.

The debt exclusion approved by voters will allow the town to issue about $4 million in bonds in order to purchase Rauscher Farm and to purchase land for and finance the construction of a senior center. The town is also applying for a $500,000 grant from the state to help purchase the farm.

Clinton’s debt exclusion will only raise taxes above current levels for the life of the bonds, which have not yet been issued, but will likely have a 20-year duration.

With the issuance of a $2.875 million bond for the farm purchase, the average homeowner’s taxes would go up about $43 yearly, according to the Assessor’s office. A $1.4 million bond for the senior center would raise the average homeowner’s tax bill about $21 dollars.

About a quarter of registered voters participated in the election -- less than a sixth of the town’s population.

Earlier this year, more than 60 percent of towns rejected proposed overrides, according to a Globe survey in May.

Proposition 2 1/2 is a 1980 law that forces Massachusetts communities that want to raise taxes more than 2.5% above current levels to get voter approval for the change.

-- Alex I. Oster

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