One of the things we should to begin to explore is the lowering of Williamstown’s tax rate in order to accommodate more middle class owners in town. The town is strapped with the double whammy of a college that owns much of the property (a high valuation) and a high tax rate of 11.4 or 1,140 dollars of tax on every 100,000 of assessed value. That makes it hard for middle class buyers. Working people have fled the town, especially in the central areas. They simply cannot afford the taxes.

 

   To put this into perspective- other towns like Lanesboro and Pittsfield have similar rates, but much lower values. The town of Hancock has the incredible rate of .2.98, while new Ashford comes in at 6.96.

 

  A lot of the municipal costs, such as a large local police and fire department, cover the needs of the College. I took a look at the fire trucks during the parade and thought- ‘my god, this entire structure is in place to cover a possible large fire that could occur on college property.’ I believe that a study should be done to explore PILOT, in order to reduce the Williamstown tax rate below .10 to .099. That would make the town more affordable for local venders and home owners.

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