To the Editor:
Bar Harbor now has a real estate tax mill rate of 10.59 per $1,000. That is way too high. Time to seek answers to the following questions.
Why don’t we have a Value Added Tax (VAT)/room tax on hotel rooms? From San Francisco to Boston, a small tax is paid by tourists who stay at motels/hotels. Do it here and earmark the money to reduce property taxes.
How many nonprofit organizations are on Mount Desert Island that do not have to pay any real estate taxes because they are exempt? The Jackson Lab, Abbe Museum and dozens more do not have to pay real estate taxes, leaving other taxpayers to pick up more of the tab.
How many middle schools do we need on the island? How many school administrators are really necessary? Do we really need two vice principals at the high school?
Fifty-five percent of our tax bill goes to funding education.
Where do all the cruise ship fees go? Do we need another public restroom built for these passengers? Earmark the money collected to reduce property taxes.
Does the town of Bar Harbor really need all the staff that it has? Has running a town of 5,300 citizens really become that complicated? We seem to have survived with just a part-time chief of police.
I realize this may not be politically correct or may offend some people, but what’s really offensive is the middle class being forced to make up for bad policy, bloated salaries, overstaffing and too few organizations paying their fair share.
In the meantime, the politicians do nothing since they don’t want to offend, or they feel there is a bottomless middle class wallet to dip into.