Thank You Pittsfield City Council

Just when you thought it wasn’t safe to leave your home as a small business owner, something happens that makes you want to stand up and cheer.

Congratulations to the Pittsfield City Council that voted 10-1 opposing a tax increase on already overburdened commercial real estate properties in our community.

Are you sure we’re not in Texas?

I guess when enough people speak the truth–enough times–even a political body in one of the most liberal states in the country can get it right.

Here’s an excerpt from today’s Berkshire Eagle describing how miracles can come true.

By a 10-1 vote Tuesday night, with Ward 2 Councilor Kevin J. Morandi opposed, the council approved a residential property tax rate of $16.70 on every $1,000 of assessed property value. The existing rate is $16.11.

The owner of an average, single-family home assessed at $177,000 would see an increase of $104 — from $2,861 to $2,965 — in their annual tax bill. The rate proposed by Mayor Bianchi and the Board of Assessors would have carried a $65 increase.

The council also approved raising the commercial property tax rate from $32.85 to $34.48. However, a business owner with property valued at $511,000 (the citywide average) would see annual tax bills drop $164 from $17,772 to 17,608. City officials had proposed a $255 increase.

The majority of the council felt the city’s tax proposal would hurt the business community.

“For me, [the mayor’s plan] was going in the wrong direction,” said Ward 6 Councilor John M. Krol Jr. “We need to show we are business friendly.”

Frankly, I’m (almost) speechless.  (another impossibility)

Viva la City Council!

Several years ago, one of our mayors thought it would be a clever idea to break apart the two tax rates, lobbying that the business community could pay a tiny fraction more than the homeowners….Look at the disparity per thousand as of 2012, $16.70 to $34.48.  I’m pretty sure a number–times 2–is no fraction. “Foot in the door” politics works every time.

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