Sunday, August 5, 2018

Springfield property values down, taxes to go up

The Springfield Grand List, the total value of all property in town, shrunk about 13 percent after a town-wide reappraisal and taxes have jumped as a result.

www.eagletimes.com



54 comments :

  1. I'm all for fixing up the town, but some of the ideas I'm hearing don't sound very good. Why shrink Clinton ave? A four lane road in front of it is the only thing the J&L property has going for it. Didn't we just pay to have it repaved, anyway? What gives?

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  2. Here's an idea to fix up downtown. Turn the bank parking lot into a town square with a pavilion in the center. Knock down the property on the other side of the bank, and the one at 32 Valley st. for parking. It's for sale, dirt cheap.

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  3. Taxes are going up, but property values are going down? Sounds like someone has a need for cheap real estate around here. I smell the investors/speculators at work!

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  4. The town government will always disguise its power to pick pockets with grand illusions of wondrous improvements that will reverse decades of decline.
    The reality is that the town continues to throw money down proverbial rat holes on superficial follies and ornamental gestures that are pawned off as "investments", but which will never yield any other return to the taxpayers than increased budgetary requirements for which they will be asked to pay even higher taxes. Springfield is the town that seeks to enjoy champagne and caviar on the contents of a pauper's purse. Making P.T. Barnum proud, one foolhardy initiative at time.

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    1. Having a nicer town to live in, is its own reward. Nothing good comes for free! I just question the motivation behind what looks to be the wholesale devaluation of every property in town. Since rates will increase to cover the shortfall, it does not constitute tax relief! It only exerts downward pressure on property values, making them less attractive to homeowners, and more attractive to slumlords, who can pass the tax increase along. Sounds like a scam to me!

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    2. LOL. The reward you speak of in this case (as in most cases with Springfield) is rather a just dessert of foolish spending that will yield nothing but empty calories and a ever increasing "grocery bill" for taxpayers. Instead of saving, investing, or spending on themselves and their families to improve their own homes, quality of life, and future financial security, taxpayers are forced to fork over ever more of their incomes and savings on boutique projects that will never deliver as promised by the snake oil purveyors that hatched them.

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  5. My value on the CT River went up, combine that with higher rates and we were hit hard. I know my property is nice, however, it was already valued accordingly from the last appraisal. I do not mind paying taxes, but it seems that some of us are paying a disproportionate share.

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  6. chuck gregory8/5/18, 1:45 PM

    What is the underlying rationale for the wholesale devaluation of properties in town?

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    1. Come on, Chuck! You're a liberal; you've never heard of "urban renewal" scams? Certain areas are devalued, which allows investors/slumlords to buy properties cheap. They rent them Section 8 to cover the taxes, while waiting for the land value to rise. When it does, they sell to developers for a windfall. It's happened in every city in America, why NOT Springfield? Think about it; when someone is looking to buy a house, they look at price and tax history. If the value is coming down, and the taxes are going up, it will discourage homeowners. Slumlords look at purchase price; since they will rent Section 8 anyway, the Federal Government foots the bill for the taxes. Get it?

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    2. Dont worry Chuck. It didnt happen to your house in Chester. Are you at McDonald's sucking up free WiFi again?

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    3. chuck gregory8/6/18, 7:31 AM

      Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh.

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  7. Springfield needs to follow what happened in White River Jct. It started with new members on the selectboard. Out went the "good old boys" network. Then they moved out the town manager who never heard of the words "transparency and integrity" Then they moved along the antiquated Police Chief who did nothing but blame others for the crime, ran good cops out of the department and spent a lot of time at meetings away from town. The downtown area of WRJ was a mess, now you can't find parking and restaurants are thriving.

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    1. I guess we need more motivated, insightful people to run for the select board? It's a good suggestion, but I don't know how we incite people to run.

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  8. Detroit 2.0 is here. No work, and what is here for work dosen't come close to fair salaries per cost of living = nothing here or anyone wanting to come here, there are ZERO incentives to stimulate Springfield economy!! This is and has been the towns way to keep all employees paid by taxpayers in their jobs AND the ones who make good salaries!
    I would sell my home, but now stuck here unless I truly want to take a 56k loss!! Something has GOT to change!!! Signed hopeful to see a turnaround...

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  9. 6:51 - Do you have transportation? There are still high paying jobs in Springfield; or travel a short distance North, South, East or West. Stop complaining about Springfield, just find a job.

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    1. I am one of the fortunate ones who have a very good paying career. Most do not want to travel far for work. Again, not much in Springfield, but my high real estate taxes...

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  10. chuck gregory8/6/18, 7:34 AM

    So, nobody has an answer to the question of "What is the underlying rationale for the wholesale devaluation of properties in town?" If there isn't one, the solution is obvious: Just hire different assessors who restore or raise the value, right? Anyone? Bueller?

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    1. Who's gonna hire them, Chuck? Why would they, if they're in on it? But, if you insist, here's another theory: It's a scam targeting all the "flatlanders" who bought old houses, and then spent a fortune fixing them up. Once the renovations are completed, they devalue the properties, then harass us out of town. The investors can then scoop up freshly remodeled homes for pennies on the dollar. Either theory is valid, from my experience here. Maybe it's a little of both. There's ALWAYS a reason for manipulating real estate values; someone, somewhere, is making money from it!

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    2. RE: The investors can then scoop up freshly remodeled homes for pennies on the dollar.

      No one "invests" in a declining market with no bottom in sight. Have you attended a local, real estate auction recently? It's pretty grim. The market is awash in cheap, older homes that once made ideal starter homes for young families. But only a fool would move here intending to build equity. I'd be lucky to sell my home for half what I've spent.

      The parasites have repeatedly demonstrated their critical mass by selfishly voting thru every budget and article that remotely benefits them. Those that fuel the budget have received the message loud and clear. There is no reversing the trend. Springfield is a dead town desirable only to welfare moms, addicts, disability scammers, and unemployable low lifes.

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    3. Ok 11:02, I'll ignore your obvious political undertones and just say this: I don't believe the market is in decline as much as it's being manipulated downward. Even in a declining market, there's money to be made; the market decline is where the money actually is. Investors keep buying property that gets cheaper every year, until they own it all. Like stock investing, it's about AVERAGE price per unit. Besides, those "deplorables" that you speak of are a cash cow for slumlords! They make money off Section 8 while they wait for the market to bottom out. They then "throw the bums out," tear the slums down, re-value the land, and sell the land to developers for an easy profit. Just Google "UIC urban renewal" and you'll see how it's done. It's not an overnight flip, it's a long-term strategy that takes years, even decades. Not as easy to do in a town this small, but it CAN be done. Paradoxically, what we CAN eventually end up with is a town that IS nice, with stable property values, and an improved economy. As long as we prevent low-income housing redevelopment projects, and create a self-sustaining economy, we'll be fine, ONE DAY! The problem is the agony of the process! The only way to "keep your skin" is to ride it out, if you can! On a personal note, they just revalued my home for about half of what I have invested, so I hear you!

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  11. Time to clean out the old network and find leadership that actually know what economic development is. Srdc folds need to leave

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    1. I just don't know how we encourage new people to run for the leadership positions. So many people are so discouraged.

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    2. Well, for one, dogluvrinvt, the "good old boys" fight new blood with everything they've got. It would take multiple people gaining seats on the Selectboard simultaneously to have a chance. Most people are too busy with their own lives to take that kind of heat. I've tried making changes from within organizations all my life; if you're doing it alone, you'll get your a$$ handed to you, BIGTIME! Just getting into the position is hard enough; they usually see you coming! It will take a coordinated effort by many citizens to accomplish real change, not just one or two new boardmembers!

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    3. @ crownie & dog, you and much of Springfield just don't get it. The overwhelming majority of your tax bill is the school budget. The biggest demand on the school budget is educating/baby sitting SPEDs. Due to both a bloated school faculty and legion of parasites with disruptive spawn it is demographically impossible to elect financially prudent school board members. With the on-going exodous of young professionals and influx of low lifes, the budget for pretending to educate these SPEDs will only get worse. No one in their right mind would buy a home here.

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    4. 1:09, I agree with you somewhat; there are too many administrators in our public school system. Vermont spends more on administration per student than EVERY OTHER STATE in the country. Each town having its own school board is a part of the problem. Have ONE school board for the entire state, with each town having a Superintendent of Schools, who reports to the board. This will save a lot of money, and streamline the decision process significantly. Local is not always better!

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    5. chuck gregory8/6/18, 5:22 PM

      I favor determining how to make Springfield's a world-class system (saving 30% in the process and removing our system from the bottom of the state standings). We would become a magnet town for forward-looking families if we did this. Simply saving money is not a good solution.

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    6. Chuck, would you please explain to us all just what a "world class" educational system is? To me, your words sounds like empty, glittering gibberish! I'm all for quality education; what's your plan? Saving money is not the solution in and of itself, but it's a damned good place to start!

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    7. chuck gregory8/6/18, 8:52 PM

      Here's an overview of the 11 best school systems in the world: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/11-best-school-systems-in-the-world-a7425391.html

      So we have to ask ourselves, "Is this where we want to be?" If the answer is yes, let's get started. For those who think the education that they got is good enough for today's kids, the thirty percent reduction in cost ought to be enough to make them change their mind.

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    8. Philip Caron8/6/18, 9:26 PM

      Chuck, that lists 11 quite different systems; descriptions are thumbnail with almost no details. Plus, they evaluated by country, and Vermont is a small state. We can aim for better results, sure, but how do you propose we get there from here, while spending less?

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    9. chuck gregory8/7/18, 4:57 PM

      Philip, I've tried discussing this one-on-one and have found that it doesn't make a difference. I could say the same things to you that I've said to past and present school board members, teachers and parents one at a time, and nothing will happen. But if you come up with half a dozen people who are curious about what is possible, then let's all sit down and look at the options. The task right now is to find the curious ones. You could be one of them...

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    10. @ 1:09, Do you ever consider yourself a racist? You may want to...... You act as if the "SPED" program is unnecessary, yet they help with any issue a child has and help children achieve their goals. If you cant respect that you're a monster.

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    11. @ 5:29 PM, Every child including your disruptive SPED has the right of an EQUAL OPPORTUNITY for an education. Nothing more, nothing less. Monster

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  12. Now don't you all wooooorrry, Trump will make America Great Again.

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    1. I would normally make a comment about your post, but this is an important local issue; let's keep it that way, for once!

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  13. Follow the money! Overpaid incompetent school administration that is dishing out barrel-bottom achievement results all the while laughing all the way to the bank. Don't try to ask them for accountability now though, they're all lounging on the beach.

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    1. From an independent perspective, it's easy to see what's wrong with our school system here. TOO MUCH POLITICS! We're fighting the culture war, and the schools are the battlefield! We are not doing our children any favors by teaching them WHAT to think, we need to focus on teaching them HOW to think. Unfortunately, that doesn't sit too well with either side, since independent thought is the enemy of ideology!

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    2. Boils down to problem solving using both easy and complex techniques.
      1. What is it that is wanted. Attractive landscape for residents and pass thru. Buildings for new business. Better schools. Drug clean up.
      2. What do you have. Possible landscape areas. Vacant useable buildings. New building sites. Buildings that should be torn down. New school teachers, school board. Cleaning up drug holes.
      3. How to do it and what are the priorities. Planning and transparency. Meetings on the subject other than this blog, USING project solving techniques.
      4. Who does this or runs the project. Remember you do not work for the select board they work for you.
      5. TIME line. Microsoft project. No fighting in the aisles.


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    3. 8:07, excellent!!!!

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  14. If you look at Springfield, it looks more like a miniature city that a rural town. It has many urban characteristics, as well as urban problems. One thing I noticed is that much of the poverty is concentrated in a "ring" around downtown, just like a major city; "low income housing" on the end of Valley st., the end of Summer st., Pearl st., and on River st. The size of the town means that these "residences" are highly visible, and encroach on downtown. ANY downtown revitalization project MUST include addressing this blight, or it will be doomed to failure.

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    1. until you bulldoze the plaza you will never have a downtown.

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    2. Philip Caron8/7/18, 9:48 PM

      LOL

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    3. Where is the low income housing at the end of Valley St? The red building on the corner has a 1 bed for $750 through a private landlord, the one on the other side of the church is also full market value apartments. The low income housing is through the Housing Authority above the movie theater, and they are beautiful, well cared for apartments, as well as potential residents get a full background check before even being offered an apartment. According to Craigslist, a 1 bed there is $606. The building on the right side of the movie theater is available through a property management company, for full market value, and the ones above Village Pizza are also not low income, but also owned by a private landlord.

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    4. Most of the slum apartments in town are privately owned. The rentals owned by the town at least LOOK good. The bad ones on Valley st. are unoccupied, as they are uninhabitable. Drive over there and take a look. 32 Valley st. is for sale, and is listed as "unsafe to enter." We can nit-pick all day, but the fact remains; there is a ring of dilapidated rental properties encircling downtown. My suggestion is to tear them down and use the lots for parking, which is sorely needed.

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    5. @ 10:02, Not that simple. I 100% agree with you that removing the blight surrounding downtown has to happen. But taking it off the tax roles as public parking and shifting the tax burden onto already abused, responsible, home owners is not a solution.

      The only effective solution is zoning enforcement. No prosperous community tolerates such eyesores. Here's my point, not everyone can afford a home or commercial structure. (Why Habitat for Humanity is a farce.) Just because it's cheap to buy, does not equate to being cheap to own. Bottom line, if you can't afford or refuse to maintain a property, it needs to be raised and auctioned off to the highest bidder to recover demolition cost. Such would make available prime locations for new constructions and greater tax revenue. Neat idea, huh?

      But don't hold your breath. Corruption in this community runs deeper than you can imagine. For years our selctboard and town attorney have protected the Bishop, Mason, and now the Lee/Odd Fellows & East School properties. I know the reason, do you?

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    6. "I know the reason, do you?"

      I don't. Since you claim to know, it would be nice of you to share it with all of us. Or is it (as I suspect you will say) a secret?

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    7. 11:28, you've hit the nail on the head. The reasons for corruption are usually very simple: DOLLARS! Maybe there's something else, like blackmail, but it's usually money. Everything, and everyone involved, are all connected. I've seen it in every town I've ever lived in, and in many cases I've personally known the players! I don't have to imagine; once you've seen it, it's pretty obvious. The "old guard" is fearful of losing control to the "outsiders," and band together to manipulate the entire economy for their own benefit. They'll bleed this town, until the people get tired of being bled. Provincialism at its absolute finest! Sound about right?

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  15. The town I grew up in had one remaining farm in it. The town was fed up with a "farm" that grew nothing, and was zoned agrigultural, despite being surrounded by residential properties. They re-zoned all 187 acres as residential. The farmer retaliated by trying to sell to a developer, who would have built a high-rise apartment complex with 30,000 people living in it! The town sued, it wound up in Federal Court, and the Court ruled that the citizens of the town had the RIGHT to determine the use of the land. The town bought the land, and today it's a nice park that everyone enjoys. The legal precedent exists, I think it's time that We The People, and not the connected few, exercised our rights to determine what kind of town this will be! Now, if only we can get off of our collective butts and do it!

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  16. 12:59, Let me guess, you haven't passed the BAR, attended law school, or even clerked. But you extol case precedent from your mom's basement?

    By the way, we already have Hartness Park, Freedom Park, Springweather, Hoyt's Landing, Muckross, Riverside, the Edger Mat Ctr. and Lord knows how many other tax excluded properties. And the best you can think of is to add more properties to list? The pain, the pain........

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    1. Wow, 2:09, I must have really struck a nerve! Do you own some of those properties? Is that all you wingnuts can think of, extracting money from other people? You complain about welfare recipients, then defend the slumlords who get rich off of them! Who's on welfare? I have a BA in U.S. Constitutional History, with a Minor in Sociology, and I'm sitting comfortably in MY paid off living room. What are your credentials, if any? The pain I feel comes from listening to greedy, whining conservatives who contribute nothing to the conversation, and very little elsewhere, while standing in the way of any progress!

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  17. "I have a BA in US Constitutional History, with a minor in sociology"...sounds like the
    pathetic liar that lives in his mom's basement that challenged me in an earlier post saying "I have a degree in history". Well tool, as Emerson said, "The louder he proclaimed his honor, the faster we counted our spoons". It's probably supper time tool boy....now run upstairs to your mommy!

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    1. Just as I thought, you have nothing. When you resort to cheap insults, YOU'VE LOST! And yeah, I am the one who regularly cleans your clock in other posts! Goodbye, loser!

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    2. Jeepers there 6:55....wind down! If you keep acting up like this mommy's not going to drive you down to the Plaza for a rainbow cone.

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  18. 8,9,10,11.....Uhhhhh......WTF!......6:55...... EMPTY YOUR POCKETS!!!

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