LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Support the Senior Property Tax Reduction

Resident Dan De Pompei says the work done on Question 2 should be good enough for the town.


Next Tuesday, December 4, we will be offered the opportunity to support or reject legislation designed to help keep seniors in Sudbury. This legislation has been carefully crafted and socialized to better enable our senior taxpayers to stay in their current residence, maintain a diversity of age among our residents and to aid in the management of Sudbury’s budget.  

The former two goals are important to Sudbury’s character and relatively easy to understand.  How this legislation will aid the management of Sudbury’s budget probably deserves additional discussion.  The Budget Review Task Force Final Report of August 2009 validated “Sudbury has a low percentage of taxpayers who do not have school-age children. Education is expensive and is the largest cost center(s) within Sudbury’s budget.  Taxpayers who do not have school-age children are fundamental to a municipality’s ability to fund a quality education for its children.  We have too many students and not enough taxpayers without students.  Our costs are constantly exceeding our revenues.  The structure of our tax base is struggling to support the quality education we demand for our growing number of students.” 

When a senior(s) decide to sell his/her house and move somewhere less expensive, and you consider the desirability of our school system, we have enabled an expansion of the student population and an increase in cost center budgets.  Some residents may feel this legislation is not perfect and could be improved. 

We have been working on this legislation for several years and, although maybe not perfect, I believe it is good enough to meet the immediate primary goals and help keep seniors in Sudbury. We should not let perfect get in the way of good enough. 

I plan to vote in support of  Question 2 “Means Tested Senior Citizen Property Tax Reduction.” In the interest of full disclosure, I do not qualify for the reduction.

Dan De Pompei

Haynes Road

Sudburytoo November 29, 2012 at 09:40 PM
joanne, I agree. This reminds me of the "budget shuffle" that happened just before town meeting and nobody had any time to analyze or observe the multiple changes that were made to the warrant. History shows, these people should not be trusted at all.
Sudbury Citizen November 29, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Dave, I saw Mr. Stein at your dog and pony show. He made an excellent point. What about your neighbor who bought his house a few years ago ( under water ), lost his job, no income at all, but will be hit with a $ 500. tax increase. Do you want to pay his bill Dave. I thought so. This is a bad bill for 95% of the town. We can't afford it. Reverse mortgage Dave. Look it up, and apply for one.
ron darden November 30, 2012 at 01:18 AM
David Levington, I am dismayed at your selective answering of questions. How about answering these: 1) If the article passes will our tax bills reflect a distinct line item entry for the increase due to the program - eg simialr to the separate 3% Community Preservation surcharge, or will it be buried and become part of the new normal? 2) Is there an exact number as to how much this will cost the average taxpayer? 3) What is % of households with no children? 4) Of that, what is % of of senior households? 5) Of that, what is % of senior households who will qualify for exemption? 6) Would senior households be eligible who have grown kids and/or their grandchildren living with them and going to school? 7) Is it true seniors can get this discount and then defer taxes at 2% rate? 8) What % of Sudbury households are currently under water on their properties? Does not this article present an undo burden shift to perhaps many young couples who can least afford it? Seniors who bought long ago have siginificant appreciation, but any one who bought much after 2005 may be in a tight situation.
JJoseph November 30, 2012 at 01:30 AM
More of the same folks, When are the people going to wake up. This is an out of control train. Lets have an urgent meeting at Lavenders.
Sid Bourne November 30, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Dan: On this issue we disagree. This bill is not revenue neutral as advertized. Yes, the uncollected senior taxes would be transfered to others, but the burried collection and administrative costs, which will be significant, will come out of town coffers. Seniors in Sudbury already can defer property taxes through a town propgram. I'm for less government interference, keeping the taxation process simple and transparent. This bill violates that principle.


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