GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Letters/My View

September 19, 2013

Letter: Rockport must change course at Long Beach

To the editor:

What to do about the residents/lessees of Long Beach, Rockport? The solid coverage of the issue as it appears in the Times (Page 1, Wednesday, Sept. 18) tells it like it is.

Let me say that I do appreciate the views submitted in a letter to the editor as also published in the Wednesday issue of the Times. But the authors are a subject to the extreme — paying taxes for dual Rockport residences. That is luxury.

The properties on Long Beach are prime real estate. On a stand-alone basis, the property lots can command top prices in the current market.

It is specious to suggest the town should be concerned that some residents on fixed incomes can’t deal with rental increases; nor does the fact that some residents’ alternate life styles off season deserve rental consideration because the place on the beach is the one, true home.

We are senior citizens. We live in a decent neighborhood, and our taxes have doubled in the last ten years. Sure, there is a tax abatement policy, and some full-time residents need that assistance.

The point? Our taxes increase; we support an excellent school system, and the cost of living in Rockport will never slip downward. To paraphrase J.P. Morgan, if you have to be concerned about property values and taxes, you can’t afford to live here.

The current chair of our Finance Committee and his colleagues have reached a reasonable recommendation to be made to the selectmen; bridge the leases until we, the landlords, know the value of the real estate, and have a handle on the cost of upgrading the seawall.

The recommendation wouldn’t be mine, because I fully endorse the effort to divest the town of the real estate. Essex is in this process, and Manchester and Ipswich have sold ocean/beach front property, with the proceeds invested for the purpose of offsetting unforeseen overrides or debt exclusions and or other major expenses or costs.

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