Sunday, May 26, 2024

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Michael Wise

A resident of Great Barrington, Michael Wise served as co-chair of the Master Plan Committee and is vice chairman of the town Finance Committee.

written articles

Michael Wise responds to criticism of progressive tax reform; Town Manager offers to mediate debate

If we could cut the tax bills for 80 percent of the homeowners living in Great Barrington, and cut them by 20 percent for most of Housatonic village, yet we decide not to do it, then we should be able to give those people a good explanation of the costs that compelled that decision.

Great Barrington tax reforms: Residential exemption, split rate could benefit most homeowners

Affordability is the challenge. In relation to income, property taxes in Great Barrington are also higher than elsewhere in Berkshire County. Incomes in Great Barrington appear to be in the mid-range among its Berkshire County peers and neighbors, about equal to the state average and above the Berkshire County average.

Toward an affordable Great Barrington: Progressive tax reform

Eighty percent of Great Barrington home owners would see their property taxes decrease. For the median home, valued at $294,400, the residential exemption would cut the tax bill 11 percent. Benefits would be concentrated in Housatonic village and Risingdale, where most tax bills would drop at least 20 percent.

What I really said — and why I now support the Monument renovation

Most of the costs of the renovation plan are actually repair and code-upgrade costs. No realistic scenario can avoid paying the principal costs of sustaining that building, sooner or later. in the meantime that building is going to need work, probably starting with that expensive roof. Postponing decisions about facilities ... means educating a generation of students in a decaying building.

Toward a more affordable Great Barrington

To address our tax burden directly and make living in Great Barrington more affordable, the town could adopt the “residential exemption,” which would reduce the tax bill substantially for those who most need relief.
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