Two years ago they asked for $60 million to upgrade the Dracut High School, the state covered half of it, so the town supported it wholeheartedly. Last year it was $30 million for the Greater Lowell Tech, split across four communities with the state helping; the citizens once again voted in support.
Each of these projects results in a new facility, and the tax goes away over time.
But this year they want $2.9 million more, every year, forever. There is no state support, and no one else to share the load.
Just a couple years ago, water rates went up 25 percent. People are now paying over $800 a year for sewer. The tax increases on the school projects underway haven't even hit the tax bill yet.
While many taxpayers are getting by paycheck to paycheck, we see raises and payouts continue in town government. In years where police and firefighters were taking no raises to support the taxpayer, the schools were still giving them out.
The CPA fund has so much money in it that they can't figure out where to spend it all. What was once a program to protect open space is now being used to fund every other project they can think of, yet it's still there on your tax bill every quarter.
The schools get two-thirds of every dollar the town takes in.
Do they need more money? I don't know. The town offered them more than $1 million this spring and they walked away from that, demanding more.
Proposition 21/2 is designed to keep this under control, but these few town leaders just don't accept that and want more. If this passes, what will they demand next year?
This tax increase is just too much. Selectmen and School Committee can get together to come up with a better proposal that the taxpayers can afford.
I ask the taxpayers of Dracut to vote "no" on the override on Sept. 9.