GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

June 8, 2013

Letter: Long-term Long Beach leases a win-win for residents, town

To the editor,

Long Beach is one of six beautiful public beaches in Rockport.

A total of 154 cottage owners pay $311,000 in land rent and pay an additional $920,000 land and building real estate taxes. This represents a total of $1.2 million in annual lease and real estate tax revenue to the Town of Rockport. And from 2006-13, Long Beach owners contributed $7.9 million in total revenue to the Town of Rockport.

Considering 46 percent of the town’s budget is designated for the public schools, Long Beach owners have contributed $3.6 million to the schools over this same eight year period.

That information runs contrary to the point made by Mel George in the second paragraph in his letter headlined “Looking out for town’s interest in Long Beach leases” (the Times. Saturday, June 1).

Long Beach owners continue to receive the same tax rate and tax assessment as all other Rockport residents. Long Beach owners are taxed on their home and land valuations — and pay land rent. However and further, Long Beach owners pay real estate taxes on an annual basis even though they are currently allowed to reside at their cottages for only six months. The real estate taxes are in addition to the land rent Since 2006, Long Beach owners have paid $4 million in land taxes on land they do not own.

Many of the families at Long Beach are descendants of the original owners, and have been at Long Beach for over 33 years. For some, Long Beach is their only home, and they are displaced for six months annually.

The majority of owners are not wealthy, with many living on a fixed income. Long Beach owner professions include school teachers, home-makers, fireman, attorneys, bankers, registered nurses, etc., and many retirees including American veterans. Sons and daughters served our country in Afghanistan and other dangerous areas. Most importantly, our Long Beach owners consider themselves proud and contributing Rockport citizens.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion