Opinion: Seeking clarification on town taxes

Feb 27, 2024

To the editor:

I am writing in response to the recent article titled, "Where Town Taxes Go," where our Town Administrator, Derek Sullivan, made a comparison between Wareham's real estate taxes and those of the town of Bourne. After reading the article and examining the tax rates on both towns' websites, I feel compelled to seek clarification on certain statements made by Mr. Sullivan.

According to my research, the town of Bourne's tax rate is $8.02 per thousand, with additional charges for water district taxes. In contrast, Wareham's tax rate stands at $9.23 per thousand, with additional water district taxes. The article suggests that Mr. Sullivan claimed, "Wareham’s tax revenue would be approximately $7 million dollars higher if it levied a similar tax bill as Bourne." I am puzzled by this statement, as the tax rates and associated fees seem comparable between the two towns, with Wareham paying a little over $1.20 more than Bourne per thousand.

Additionally, I would like to draw attention to the services provided to Bourne taxpayers, such as a fully functioning recycling center and landfill, free trash pick-up, a new recreation center, newer schools and a senior center. In contrast, Wareham taxpayers have experienced the loss of a recreation center, a senior center and the absence of municipal trash pick-up for an extended period. These disparities raise concerns about the allocation of resources and services in Wareham.


Deanna Semple