Letter: Town should embrace tax relief for retirees

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letters_flat(Editor’s note: The following letter was written to Beacon Falls First Selectman Gerard Smith and submitted to the Citizen’s News as a letter to the editor.)

Dear Mr. Smith,

Firstly, thank you for serving. 

As you are undoubtedly aware we are still in a recession, although things have gotten somewhat better from an economical standpoint, Beacon Falls and all of the state of Connecticut seem to be “bumping along the bottom,” whereas in many other parts of the country economic activity has picked up significantly. As I’ve communicated before the major reason for our continued recession is the fact that we are a very, very high tax state. When you look at the statistics, we in Connecticut are number one — the worst place for retirees. 

Retirees for the most part are on fixed incomes and have cut excess spending to the bone. Thus, they are shopping in Dollar Stores, not taking vacations, not eating out as much; all to pay the higher tax load that Connecticut and the towns/cities impose on them.

It is indeed frustrating that no one in Hartford is listening and I’m equally frustrated that no one in Beacon Falls town hall seems to be listening. 

I was in the business world for well over 40 years and when things got bad, I as a manager was told cut expenses by 5 or 10 percent (depending on the year) or we’ll find somebody that can. You know we were able to cut expenses and managed to survive and in fact services did not suffer, but in some cases even got better.

Why does government feel that they are somehow exempt from competition? Why isn’t Connecticut able to attract the jobs needed for dynamic growth? It’s the tax structure, Connecticut taxes everybody and everything. And who benefits? Are the children really getting a much, much better education as a result of all the money showered on the school system? Statistics will tell you that they are getting an average education, in spite of all the money thrown at the system.

Why not lower real estate taxes by 25 percent for retirees, inducing seniors to come to Beacon Falls as opposed to retirees streaming out of the state as never before. Inducing retirees to come here will in fact increase your tax revenue and stimulate business activity. Why wouldn’t you want 230 homeowners in Chatfield paying on average $5,000 a year in taxes as opposed to 85 homeowners paying on average $7,000 in taxes — you do the math.

Beacon Falls is loosing approximately $2 million annually (that’s three fire engines a year) by keeping taxes at the current levels for retirees. Quite honestly this is shortsighted and mismanagement that continues to drive revenue down for Beacon Falls, but here again we are in Connecticut and shortsighted government seems to be in the genes.

I’m seriously considering leaving Connecticut as the tax burden has just gotten too much. This in spite of the fact that I’ll loose just about all my equity on the sale of my home. It seems that I’m not alone as there are least 10 for sale signs alone as I leave the complex on Skokorat Road. It’s never good when you have more than 5 percent of your real property for sale. Apparently this is what Beacon Falls wants as tax relief surely has been suggested before, by myself and others.

As my mother so wisely used to say “no answer is also an answer.” Mr. Smith so far you’ve ignored all my communications to you, I’m assuming that means business as usual in Beacon Falls.

I would strongly encourage Beacon Falls to embrace tax relief for retirees, in order to increase your revenues as outlined above.

Sincerely yours,

Hans Wenzel

Beacon Falls