No Relief For Newtown’s Struggling Seniors

To the Editor:

At the senior coalition October meeting with the town officials, it was clear they do not have the slightest interest in their seniors – a group who comprises 33 percent of the community.  The formula used to calculate taxes on senior condominiums is a sham. They have come up with a formula that in no way justifies the results! The current value of the senior condo should be used to result in a fair tax. Previous valuations should have nothing to do with the current tax calculation. No consideration has been given to the fact that the senior condo communities pay for all of their own services such as road maintenance and snow removal but do not even own the condo property. 

One thing very interesting did come out of that meeting. We were told the town has been looking for commercial expansion which would lighten the tax load. Whoever is responsible for this should be replaced because there have been no positive results, except for encouraging more liquor stores and restaurants to open in town.  If you’re hungry and thirsty, Newtown is the place to be! 

Many of our seniors are struggling on fixed incomes. The tax assessor commented that seniors are charged high taxes “because the seniors are the ones with all of the money.” The seniors are not “the ones with all of the money.”  After two major downturns in the economy since the 80’s, there have been major losses in home sales, 401K’s and other retirement investments. There are, however, many high income Newtown residents who are the ones with “all of the money” living in very large homes, and they do own their generous properties. 

The school age population keeps decreasing, but the Board of Ed keeps trying to grab more and more money. They are out of control and seem to be accountable to no one.  The amount of waste is incredible.  What reasonable and effective school board would put two vice principals in a school with, what was it, two classes? It seems they have young parents convinced that their children will not receive a good education without the increasingly extravagant budgets they claim to require. We all want to ensure the children in our town receive a good education. All residents should take pride in that. Take the waste out of the school system, reduce the budget substantially and the children will still receive an excellent education. It is not the extraordinary amount of money that is needed.  It is providing good teaching skills and good administration in running the schools that result in a good education.

Our country and state is in big financial trouble and the problem will continue to filter down.  Based on the current rate of spending in our town, only the rich and the poor on assistance will be able to afford to live here. 

Carol Bistany

43 Elizabeth Circle, Sandy Hook             October 5, 2013

More stories like this: senior citizens, property taxes
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