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Taxation Article

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A January 13th article in the Boston Herald speaks of the increasing tax burden faced by Massachusetts residents due to the rising real estate property taxes. The rising rates, which this past year increased as much as 16.6% in Boylston, are compounded by the skyrocketing real estate values. "Tax bills are calculated by multiplying the town's rate, typically set toward the end of each calendar year, by the property's assessed value, divided by $1,000."

These increases are being met with mixed emotions from the residents of Massachusetts. On the one hand, some residents are happy to see their real estate rising in value and realize that taxes are a necessity of life, while others are angered by the increases and have been forced to relocate. Because property tax increases are determined by the community that one lives in, there is a wide gap in the percentage increase between communities.

The individuals who are being hit the hardest, are those on a set income like retiree Charles Higgins. Charles states "I didn't want to leave, who raised three children during his 30-year tenure in the town. The taxes just become so high that I could no longer afford it. I have to live on social security and the little savings that I still have" Many elderly have been or are being forced out of their towns because of this, and recently there has been major interest in a program that would allow these individuals to work in exchange for a break on their taxes.

This article brought up an interesting tax issue. Although I have compassion for those individuals who are being forced to move out of their neighborhoods, I feel that the method that is in place for determining property taxes is fair. Obviously, in areas where individuals put an emphasis on education and safety and can afford the tax increases, there will generally be increases. It is as simple as that. If you want to live in an area like that, where



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