Guest Post by Michael Chambers
I want to thank a CCA mailer who forwarded a picture of Tom Ferrio at the window of some abode not in Charlestown, and probably not on this continent. Tom can travel anywhere in the world, but we don’t begrudge him the opportunity to do so. We question his idea of rich people who should be fleeced by the CDTC because they are out of towners. Here is a personal story to show why I am so against Tom’s definition of rich.
My parents, in their sunset years fled to the warmth of Florida as renters, but my father always wanted to buy a house there. They passed without ever attaining that dream. Last year my brother, a special needs teacher and my sister, a school bus driver, combined their funds to buy a house in Englewood, Florida, mostly to fulfill my parents’ dreams. They put some money into the place to make it livable and attractive and they intend to rent it during the winter months. Are they rich? I daresay that the CDTC chair and her husband probably make more in their retirement than my brother and sister make in their jobs.
If my brother and sister had actually bought in Charlestown, R.I., the CDTC apologists would have declared them rich and would want to fleece them for more taxes. This is not an isolated instance, and I believe that there are many people who have two houses and are not rich, even by CDTC reckoning. Tom Ferrio and Tim Quillen promoted the Homestead Exemption Tax based on fleecing the second homeowner with the excuse that they must be rich and that rich people must pay their fair share of taxes. However, Charlestown collects property taxes on an equal basis based on the assessment of property values. So Tom and Tim are biased against out of towners, not rich vs. poor.
I firmly believe that if Tom Ferrio and Tim Quillen somehow get to serve on the Town Council, they will do everything in their power to increase property taxes for out of town land owners. In the case of my brother and sister, this would be a travesty, but Tom and Tim want to receive tax relief at someone else’s expense