GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

September 20, 2013

Letter: Don't let costs force out Long Beach tenants

To the editor:

Rockport has leased Long Beach for 110 years.

My parents bought my cottage 70 years ago because they loved Long Beach and Cape Ann. Those feelings were taught to their children. It is still a cottage in the sand, very rustic, nothing changed. I consider it “home.”

As my neighbors, I am here in April waiting for water and here in October hoping the Department of Public Works doesn’t turn it off until after Oct. 15.

The town opinion has been that we take care of the property, are peaceful, cause no trouble, pay full year-round taxes with six-months land use, water, sewer — and we do not ask nor expect expenditures for Long Beach.

Therefore, land rent was kept reasonable. We have been a source of steady income (last year over a million) with most not going to Long Beach.

Does the town want a situation where owners cannot afford the land rent of $18,000 to $33,000, or cannot sell because buyers cannot pay that amount?

Like my neighbors, I rent because I have to.

Rental season is nine weeks. This summer, my cottage was vacant for 10 days in July and two weeks in August. There is no huge income.

We had a huge tax increase. Mine was 52 percent.

My land assessment was increased by approximately $100,000, while year-round homes on the water had decreases. My only option is renting.

Any town that I know that needs money, first looks for funding outside the town and if not available assesses the entire town and not one specific neighborhood.

Does the town want to put Long Beach owners in a position where they cannot afford the land rent nor can sell because of the land rent?

KATHY DOWNER

Long Beach, Rockport

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