There are only two ways to achieve property tax reform. Cities and towns can cut costs or cities and towns can diversify the revenues they collect. This bill does both. It offers meaningful incentives to municipalities that opt in, and opting in requires working more efficiently.
1. It encourages towns to cut costs by creating incentives for to:
· Reach economies of scale delivering services like health care, special education, marketing, and human resources.
· Buy in bulk with pooled purchasing
· Negotiate labor agreements regionally
· Research and development curriculum
· Provide special education
· Educate pre-school age students, …
3. It gives municipalities new revenue by:
· Distributing a share of the property tax on new economic development regionally
· Distributing a portion of the sales tax generated in the region to participating towns
· Distributing a share of the hotel tax collected in the region to participating towns
· Making it possible for municipalities to compete for federal economic development grants and operating assistance. (Cities and towns are currently ineligible for this assistance.)
· Generating new property tax revenue, making our regions more competitive locations for new business creation and existing business expansion.
4. It stops the race to the bottom:
· Participating cities and towns will agree not to compete with their neighbors for new development, thereby reducing the tendency to give away future tax revenues to lure economic development from a neighboring city or town today.
· It encourages cities and towns to channel development to appropriate sites in the region thereby reducing the costs of building new infrastructure and maintaining it.
· It encourages cities and towns to preserve cultural assets and the beautiful sites that foster a tourism economy and residents of choice.