GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Letters/My View

September 4, 2013

Letter: Long-term Long Beach leases don’t add up for town

To the editor:

In the face of significant needs for some $40 million of infrastructure improvements, Rockport’s Board of Selectmen may be about to make a tragic error should they continue to subsidize (to the tune of almost $2 million a year) the Long Beach renters by renewing at less than fair-market rates the 10-year leases due to expire at the end of this year.

The renters are not bad people, but merely a small special interest group that has a very good deal and understandably wants to keep it. They benefit materially from past policies and decisions that are now up for review by the selectmen.

The town owns about $60 million worth of beach-front land, from which it gets about only one-tenth of the fair market rent. Market rents would yield the town some $2 million rather than the $300,000 it now collects. This difference amounts to about 10 percent of total current tax revenues, and means that, on average, each Rockport householder is providing a subsidy of some $500 to the Long Beach renters.

The cabins on average have an assessed market value of some $100,000 to $200,000, yet three recently sold for over $700,000, yielding the former tenants a windfall profit even though the town owns the land.

Were the rents at market value, then current renters could not demand such high prices and the town, not the renters, would benefit from the $60,000,000 asset it owns. So it is natural for the current tenants to argue for a 30-year lease at current rental rates.

At the selectmen’s meeting, meeting Ms. Carbone reportedly claimed that she “already paid the worth of the land ...” True, but she did not pay the town that owns the land; rather she paid a former tenant under the assumption that the town would continue to subsidize the renters with below fair-market rents.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters/My View

NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Broken Water Main Floods UCLA "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH)