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