Marblehead residents voted to override Proposition 2 1/2 today, endorsing proposals to borrow more than $43 million for building and town projects – including the construction of a new Glover Elementary School.
The money will be paid back over a 20-year period. The tax impact for the first year will be $300 for owner of a median priced home in Marblehead. For years 2-20, the tax impact will be less than $250 a year.
In separate ballot questions, voters approved a proposal to borrow $18.2 million to reconstruct its Transfer Station, and also to spend $24.5 million to build a new elementary school. Voters also approved a proposal to spend $656,000 on studies to clean up the town’s landfill. Voters turned down just one of the four ballot questions – a proposal to borrow $666,793 to fund improvements to the Old Town House.
Last year, voters rejected a similar school building proposal by 71 votes. Today, voters endorsed the school proposal 3,394 – 2,752.
“I’m thrilled,” said Marblehead School Committee Chairwoman EuRim Chun shortly after hearing the news outside of the Town Clerk’s office at Abbot Hall. “Everyone came together and they were willing to make the investment in our future and it shows the confidence they have in the town.”
As word spread through the building that three out of the four proposals had passed, Jean Eldridge looked on glumly and wondered how some residents would pay for the tax increases.
“I’m so disappointed,” said Eldridge, who opposed the school and transfer station proposals.
“There are so many people out of work, losing their homes, and there are a lot of people in town on a fixed income – including myself. This makes me sick.”
Although home prices have yet to recover from what has come to be known as the Great Recession, property tax bills in Boston’s northern suburbs are on the rise as cities and towns struggle to maintain services residents have come to expect.
Across the state, property values tumbled an average of 8.1 percent per year between the onset of the recession in 2007 and July 2009, according to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. Since property taxes are based on value, homeowners might assume that lower assessments would result in lower bills.
Opening their tax bills will end that hope in a heartbeat.
Click here to read the rest of Brenda J. Buote's Globe North story on tax bills.