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Greenfield’s latest tax bills reflect high school debt

First-quarter bills due Friday

GREENFIELD — The first quarter real estate tax bills due in the Tax Collector’s Office by the close of business on Friday reflect the first increases from the debt for the new $66 million Greenfield High School under construction.

Mayor William Martin said this week “While our tax rate is high in comparison to many towns without the services and programs we provide ... over the past 10 years, Greenfield’s state ranking in the average single-family tax bill has gone from 172nd in 350 communities to 233.”

Greenfield’s tax rate was $20.53 last year and the town estimates there will be a 6.5 percent increase due to the high school debt this year. The tax rate is set each year in December.

That means a taxpayer who owns a home assessed at $100,000 paid $2,053 last year and will see an increase of $133 or will pay $2,186 this year.

“The best way for Greenfield to keep its tax rate reasonable is to expand the tax base through business development and job expansion in the commercial and industrial sectors,” said Martin. Business development provides an expansion of the entities contributing to the town tax bill and job expansion impacts demand for housing which raises value. Good specialty manufacturing jobs like those that will be coming to Kennametal and that exist at Argotec and Applied Dynamics and others, will draw workers and their families to live in a community where the average single-family home is affordable, the schools are excellent, and the taxes are reasonable given the services that are provided.

“If you look at all the municipalities in Massachusetts, very few can compare to the level of excitement and vibrancy that exists in Greenfield,” said Martin.

I think a FULL audit should be done on where the money is really going in this town. How is it possible that with having a court house and jail as well as the industrial park and car dealerships (which some had gone out of business due to rising taxes in this town) as well as so many other businesses in this town, and be on the top highest taxes being paid for home owners in the STATE!!? The town needs to look at the job performance of this mayor and how costly he has been, especially to those that live pay check to pay check or live on social security or retirement. As far as the towns vibrancy and excitement... being on the news every other day for all the drugs and heroin going around town isn't something to be proud of. It's becoming more of an embarrassment when you say you live in Greenfield now and people comment on it being a drug town that they are afraid to go to and would not want their children to go to school here.

Fuzzy math. Pure and simple. Middle class homeowners in this town are not beneficiaries of these "services" the Mayor refers to. We are however being priced out of living in this town because the burden of covering these services is being placed squarely on our back. Exciting times in Greenfield? Seriously? Apparently I am going to be missing them as I look for a part time job to cover the new and ever rising taxes that I am paying. While a new high school was needed it certainly did not need to be built on such a grand scale. I'm leaving my hometown as soon as possible providing I can sell my house to someone who can afford to live here. It may be a while.

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