Re: “What Can We Do?”
At last night’s Tiverton town council meeting, my man Councilor Hannibal Costa took the opportunity of a routine tax assessor request (regarding the firm that will handle the assessment) to make everybody well aware that he’s not going to sit idly by while rates get jacked up — what with all those houses sitting on the market as people cash out on their Tiverton properties. In the discussion that followed, Council Vice President Donald Bollin offered the following explanation (with the wording pretty close):
If the values go down, then we have to raise the rates. There’s nothing we can do.
No hint of a suggestion that if the people of the town are getting poorer (via the devaluation of their largest assets), perhaps the town ought to cut back on its expenditures. Yet somehow, governments never talk about cutting the tax rates when citizens’ property is increasing in value, giving the town more money than it needs.