Letter: Think of taxpayer impact of middle school increase

February 2, 2023

At the Special Town Meeting held on January 19, the town voted in favor of spending another $7.2 million for a new middle school. That is on top of the $102.8 million approved last year. If you are concerned about the impact for taxpayers, please consider the following:

1. The Building Committee has asserted that if we delay the project, it will cost more. This assumes that the town will vote to give them more—isn’t $103 million enough? I urge them to revisit the design and find ways to adhere to the $103 million. That’s how most of us live our lives – establish a budget and live with it.

2. The $103 million already allotted is more than the town paid for the three elementary schools and the high school combined, after deducting state aid and Carlisle’s portion of the high school debt ($99,048,334 for all 4 schools).

3. The Building Committee chose to not give us a choice—either vote in favor of the $7.2 million additional money (for a total of $110 million) or else pay more in the future. That is an arrogant and irresponsible attitude. Many residents and businesses are struggling to remain in Concord.

4. The tax bill that we recently received only included an average of $131 (for the median priced home) for the amount that has already been borrowed for this project. The full impact of the $103 million (once fully funded using a 30-year term) is $1,079 per year, which will appear starting next year. Question 1 on the February 16 ballot will add $74 per year for the median priced home, for a total of over $1,200 per year for 30 years for a middle school built for up to 700 students.

5. Please VOTE NO on Question 1 at the polls on or before February 16. EVERY VOTE COUNTS!

Anita Tekle

Virginia Road