Merger Savings Do Not Add Up
April 3, 2021
Pro-merger advocates insinuate that if we don't vote for this half-baked merger plan, the Village will separate from the Town and the TOV will lose 42% of the Grand List attributed to the Village. MILLIONS of dollars in tax revenue will dry up and the Town Outside the Village will have to cut services and staff.
But wait? Something is amiss. In separation, the TOV will no longer serve 42% of the Grand List. Tax revenue is lost, but Cost of Services and contributions to the Village vanish also. (Fire, water and sewer, staff, land records, library, road maintenance, tax breaks to the Fair Grounds, $15,000 to the Village library, and more....)
Cost of Services always exceeds tax revenue, so separation is a good thing for the TOV! And of course, the TOV will cut staff if the Village leaves. More savings!
Staff salaries and benefits are the biggest contributor to our property tax burden. And unnecessary staff in the Town will be needed by the Village. A win for all.
Pro-Merger advocates herald "Merger is Cheaper than Separation." We don’t know that. But neither the Village nor the Town Outside is voting on separation. We are voting on a Merger.
The Village vote on separation is a nonbinding vote forced onto the Village ballot by a petition signed by only 5% of the voters.
The vote concerning separation is merely an indication to the Trustees as to whether it is worth paying to study a separation.
When we vote no to this merger plan, we will be the same Town, go to the same parks, have the same friends and families and we will still be One Essex. With the same Village as part of it. Like we were before our Board hired a marketing firm and spent over $100,000 to sell a merger plan that they knew that half the Town objected to BEFORE the first vote and before this plan for merger cleaved us into to factions for reasons that are murky and unclear.
Please vote No. A yes vote is a vote for higher taxes and higher rents and an uncertain and uncharted future guided by an inefficient and incomplete merger plan steamrolled through to a vote (and then another) during a Pandemic.