Milton cannot afford Community Preservation surtax
Milton Selectman Thomas Hurley’s proposal to adopt the Community Preservation Act in Milton and place a 1.5 percent surtax on our real estate bills (“Towns face decision on new surtax,’’ March 29) is nothing more than an end run around Proposition 2 1/2.
In this economy with its unstable real estate market, a surtax on real estate taxes is unacceptable.
More importantly, the state has drastically reduced the reimbursement rate by 75 percent. That is an indication the state is rethinking the whole CPA idea and may withdraw its support totally. Milton would be stuck with a real estate surtax and no state reimbursement.
As reported here, Duxbury, which has participated in the Community Preservation Act, will vote to reduce that surtax bite on local taxpayers because other increases in taxes will cost the average Duxbury resident more than $1,000 a year. They see the CPA as falling hard on seniors with fixed incomes and young families with high expenses, since the CPA surtax is not tax-deductible. According to its opponents, the surtax has been used for “frivolous’’ acquisitions at Duxbury taxpayers’ expense.
Well-meaning as Mr. Hurley may be, Milton cannot afford a surtax on real estate that is not tax-deductible and which falls hard on seniors and young families. We must learn from Duxbury’s mistake and not participate in the ill-defined Community Preservation Act.
Proposition 2 1/2 provides the appropriate outlet to raise additional funds when needed. It must not be sabotaged by adopting the Community Preservation Act in Milton.