The voters of Sturbridge however denied the article during the annual town meeting last Monday, April 27. The article was the result of a petition by the two owners of New England Land and Lumber, Bergeron and Grossi, and proposed to rezone about 100 acres of land from residential to commercial.
Why did the voters of Holland welcome the Flying J truck stop? Are the Holland voters smarter than the Sturbridge voters? You be the judge! I will present you with facts and assume that you like to pay less taxes and not more, and invite your comments.
The total assessed value of properties in Holland according to the “At A Glance Report for Holland” by the Department of Revenue (DOR) is $360,260,225 for FY 2008. According to a DOR report, 60% of homes in Holland are second homes. Most of these homes are lake front properties with an average value higher than the houses away from the lake. To keep it simple I disregard this fact even so considering it would benefit my argument. 60% of $360 millions is $216 millions.
Holland is therefore fortunate to tax properties worth $216 millions without carrying the high cost associated with educating the children living (part time) in these homes.
If my assumption is correct that the public at large does not find it appealing to live in a community with a truck stop, the fortune of our town will turn for the worse and not for the better. Just a decline of property values of 2% would wipeout the additional taxes paid by Flying J Inc. on a facility worth $5,000,000. If the loss of attractiveness on second homes would attract more year round residents and 6 more pupils would join the Holland educational system, the increase in tax revenue would be wiped-out even if the property values would not be affected by the truck stop. Each pupil is costing the taxpayer $ 9755 (FY 2007).
I think that the Holland voters will pay a hefty price in the end for blindly trusting their “leaders” by voting in favor of the zoning change and thereby inviting the Flying J truck stop.
The forgoing analysis does not take into consideration other unavoidable substantial cost increases for police and our government in general.
There are other negative impacts that need to be considered, click here to read more!
I cannot imagine anybody being better off besides the few individuals directly involved in the deal with Flying J Inc. truck stop., can you? If so, please comment! We all will be paying more taxes and have to live with a truck stop....
The DOR report recognized:
“In each instance, the town‘s lower rank in per capita income and average single family tax bill suggest that resident income levels have not kept pace with property value increases, which might be driven upward by second home buyers from out-of-town and out-of-state. Nevertheless, the impact has been felt in the annual budget process.”