Taxes move in wrong direction
Chicopee residents and businesses alike will again be faced with tax increases based on the tax levy approved by the City Council, with a one time "windfall" of $2.4 million in taxes according to Mayor Michael Bissonnette and the City Council members. Over the last six to eight years, many residential taxes increased by 150 percent or more.
According to census figures, Chicopee has a per capita income of $22,000 vs. the state average of $33,000, and median household income of $44,000 vs. the state average of $64,500 and 15.4 percent below the poverty level. Any tax increase will hurt these residents.
Sixteen percent of residents are seniors 65 and older. According to census data, 9.7 percent of all seniors are under the poverty level. More than 8,000 seniors receive no tax or utility cost relief.
This is the year to hold or reduce taxes for both residents and businesses by reducing spending and taking $4 million from Stabilization Fund to lower the tax levy. This rainy day fund would still be in the $8 to $10 million ranges at the end of December 2012.
So, why aren't taxes going down instead of up again this year?