Vote no on $5.54M bond on Hollis Brookline Co-op

To the Editor:

Brookline taxpayers should be aware of a massive $5.54 million bond in proposed new spending through the Hollis Brookline Co-op.

This bond is in addition to the co-op’s $21 million operating budget. The money would be borrowed over 20 years, with annual payments of more than $440,000 until the year 2035 (that’s $8.8M total in principal and interest). This proposed bond will fund a new athletic complex with artificial turf, fielding lighting, concession stand, 1,000-person bleacher, press box, etc., a three-story high school expansion with seven more classrooms, an expanded cafeteria and network infrastructure for Common Core.

Student enrollments have been declining sharply since 2012 and are projected to continue a steep decline for the foreseeable future. These proposals are “wants,” not necessities. If all proposed spending is passed, there will be a $294 tax increase for a $350,000 Brookline home, or a $420 increase for a $500,000 home, not counting any tax increases from the town or the Brookline School District.

Brookline is in a tax and spend death spiral with double digit increases annually, with no end in sight. The era of single-digit annual property tax increases is but a quaint memory. We are now in the 10 percent-plus zone. If present trends continue, your $10,000 property tax bill will be $20,000 in just seven more years. I have seen taxes more than triple in this Brookline over 15 years.

We live in a community not just a school district. People simply do not have an unlimited capacity to pay. Quite frankly, the folks proposing this kind of a hit on all of us ought to be embarrassed! To ask Brookline to continue with this unsustainable tax burden is beyond ridiculous.

In addition to those fortunate enough to have jobs, there are senior citizens, the unemployed and underemployed who are being crushed by these taxes. Please don’t make the mistake of depending on “someone else” going to these meetings to look after your interests – it doesn’t work that way, as evidenced by past votes and crazy tax increases. The responsibility and the results that come with it are on us.

Please attend the co-op district meeting at Hollis Brookline High School at 7 p.m., March 3. Vote “no” on the $5.54 million bond proposal. Strongly encourage your friends and neighbors who can no longer afford to pay for this insanity to come with you!

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