Danvers residents are taxed to the max

Don’t hold your breath about frugal spending; it’s just another fantasy like real estate tax reductions, classification or even tax and utility rate stabilization!

In March, Danvers’s elected and appointed officials will claim the town has never been in better financial shape, pointing to millions they have stockpiled in free cash, school building funds and contingency funds.

This year the town declared millions of “free cash”, (an oxymoron, nothing is free). This is commendable but it also means that the budget was inflated to extract maximum real estate taxes under the 2.5% levy capacity. This inflated budget is legal and called a balanced budget. These free cash funds will then be spent on pet projects by warrant articles which may or may not be in the best interest to the taxpayers.

Danvers’s political elite, Selectmen and town management, have continually hammered homeowners. Danvers’s soon-to-be-announced budget has increased more than 80% since 2005. That is 5.5% average increase every year. What happened to 2.5% limits?

In 2019 the Danvers residents have incurred significant tax and utility rate increases for the privilege to live in this Town.

• The water and sewer rates have increased by 15%.

• The electric rates increase is disguised as a purchased power & fuel adjustment component on your bill and represents a 21.4% increase.

• The electric company management diverted $25,000,000, to fund non Electric functions, before requesting a significant rate increase.

• This electric company rate increase was authorized by the Town Manager, even after having another $20,000,000 cash on hand.

• Danvers Electric ratepayers fund intersection projects, rail trail development, retirement benefits, and other pet projects which should be funded by DPW. The use of Electric ratepayer revenues is a hidden 2.5% override, without authorization of town residents. Another hidden excess!

• These rate hikes are hidden tax increases that are inflating our costs and are causing increases in our cost of living.

• The 2019 real estate taxes and fees have increased by 3.5% after a classification. More significant is the staggering increases in the appraised value of our multi-unit properties and the associated tax collections. Selectmen were surprised, but would not correct the errors. What happened?

Town officials believe they are entitled to taxing you to the max as a policy. You will never hear that the management costs are increasing and that the wages and benefits are skyrocketing. Just look at the latest report of salaries and wages which have been created as a result of the reorganization of town government. The thought of any reductions or stabilization of real estate taxes or utility rates is a far-fetched fantasy at best.

Now is the time for town meeting to evaluate the budget and trim the spending. The budget will include line items for many basic needs, but also for many more wants.

There is a limit to tax collections. The Selectmen must show restraint in spending. The elderly and specifically young families are trying to survive and remain in Danvers. These taxpayers may not survive the high taxes and move out of Danvers.

Stop the SPENDING and TAXING to the MAX policies and adopt constraints on spending. Focus on the basic services to support the people who elected you. You are about to run out of other people’s money, then what will you do?

Cut the budget to reduce the taxes and stop TAXING to the MAX.

Mark Zuberek,

Precinct 7 Town Meeting member