Most property owners received their tax bills yesterday. As we muddle through assessed values and tax rates to understand the changes in our bills it’s important to have a full picture of what’s happening.
Although the corporate rate for Charlestown experienced a slight decrease, something Mayor Hall will be quick to celebrate as a success of his administration, you’ll notice an explosive increase in the school tax rate which went from 0.8536 to 1.1363. You’ll also notice an increase in the fire district tax rate from 0.1202 to 0.1392.
Mayor Hall’s abuse and overuse of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) has created a shortfall in other taxing units that depend on property tax revenue to fund their budgets.
Every time Charlestown’s Redevelopment Commission, a non-elected board of which Mayor Hall is the self appointed president, purchases property it removes an important revenue source from the formula that determines our tax rates. The City might have decreased its budget in order to create a false sense of relief this election year, but our schools and fire protection district had no choice but to raise their rates in order to make up the differences created by the financial vacuum of the Redevelopment Commission’s actions.
Mayor Bob Hall has said in numerous public meetings and in posts on social media that his use of TIF does not take money away from schools and fire departments. In a way he is right…it takes money away from YOU.
Schools must be funded. Fire departments must be funded. Mayor Hall just wants YOU to fill in the gaps of his out-of-control TIF practices.
Read more about my thoughts on TIF here: End TIF Abuse!