We have heard from many taxpayers that their property tax bills have soared.
Not only homeowners are complaining but business owners are complaining as well.
The complaints are not really heard by city hall.
They are largely ignored, scored up by our leaders as a distasteful but necessary part of life in the city of Everett.
There was a time, and it was not so long ago, when the city leadership touted the coming of the casino and hotel as the medicine to fix all of the city’s income and tax problems.
As good as the marriage has been between the city and Encore, it is simply not good enough.
Last month, Encore took in almost $70 million, an incredible sum of money that doesn’t begin to detail the full cash flow pouring into the casino owners pockets.
At that rate of income, Encore might very well be poised to take in almost $1 billion in a year sooner rather than later!
Problematic about such a roll of money for the casino is that taxes here will continue to rise…unless there is a full blown legal effort to renegotiate the Encore contract, that is, the host agreement with the city’s most successful business.
Recently, we have come to learn that the Exxon Mobil property now up for sale is becoming a bit like an albatross.
We are told that the city will lose something like $7 million in tax revenues this year because the Exxon Mobil property is not being used, and that its tax status has changed as a result, and so the giant international company will pay far less in taxes for the property as it lies “fallow.”
The city will be hard pressed to make up the likely $7 million it is set to lose.
Ultimately, the city will need to raise that sum of money any way it can.
What does this mean?
That taxes will be raised to make up for the expected shortfall. It is a vicious expensive cycle for business owners here and for residential home owners.
We have been informed of instances where taxes on some home have gone up as high as $1500!
Some business owners have complained of startling raises in their taxes, too.
The time is now right for the city to begin posturing to get more of what is deserves from Encore – which is more money for the city treasury.
But Everett also needs at the same time to commit itself to a program that relieves the burdens of higher taxes from property owners and businesses that can be off-set by more in lieu of tax money coming in from Encore.
This type of stance is not about greed.
It is about doing what is right for the taxpayers.
In another week, Encore will be offering up sports betting. While no one knows exactly what will be taken in by the casino giant on sports betting we do know this – it will be tens of millions of dollars and likely much more than this for sports betting in the short term.
Somehow, the city must come to benefit from such new enormous flows of revenue coming into the casino that calls Everett its home.
The casino doesn’t really call Everett home.
It calls Boston its home.
The casino has taken advantage of Everett.
It is high time Everett now takes advantage of the casino.