2. I would like to know Mr. Ed Sparks thought process for the following statement he made in response to "Tax Relief for all".
"Are the fishermen scared about losing some bottom? Sure they are but how long before they are forced out by rising property values that consume a big piece of their income just to be able to live here?" (the bold is my addition))
Also, while the volunteer fire department members are forced to "work more" and "volunteer less just to keep ahead of the tax man" Mr. Sparks thinks that the fishermen should take a big hit in their income so that they can maybe get a few dollars off of their property taxes. [Dee Williamson]
1. Burr I don't believe that across the board property tax relief is the correct formula as it will only encourage people looking for coastal property on which to build "trophy homes " more incentive to come to Harpswell and drive up real estate prices at an even faster rate than we have witnessed over the last ten years. Selected relief to long term residents or increased homestead exemptions would work much better at allowing our elderly and working class residents from being forced to sell to the highest bidder. The biggest problems we have in town today are fresh potable water supplies and the lack of access to the waterfront for the fishing community. Why ? because any piece of shorefront property is a valued site for the trophy home and weekend home buying market. These new homes are being built with 3 or 4 bathrooms whirlpool tubs ,wet bars , and even underground sprinkler systems . They use more water in a month than a lot of us use in a year and are responsible for many neighbors previously good wells going bad or dry. These homes are being built without regard to the sensitive nature of our ever decreasing water supply. Where are the local children going to be able to afford to settle when they look to start a family, certainly not on shore property in Harpswell. They can't compete with the big money from "away" The lowest priced home on the market in the town of Harpswell today is a small house on a small lot with a failed septic system, and it's priced at $125,000. 00. Not affordable by most peoples standards.
Another aspect of town services Fire and Rescue protection, With the continually rising property values many of the volunteers are being squeezed to the limits by tax increases and have to work more and volunteer less just to keep ahead of the tax man. this does not bode well for the citizens of this town. Where are we going to be in the future? I wish I knew. The current controversy has reared an ugly them or us attitude around town but it's been going on for a long time. Are the fishermen scared about losing some bottom? sure they are but how long before they are forced out by rising property values that consume a big piece of their income just to be able to live here? If the Fairwinds proposal passes in January we will have the ability at town meeting to control the expenditure of every penny of the revenues through our vote. Thank you for providing this site for information at a crucial time in town history Ed Sparks