Short-Term Rental Costs
To the editor:
In response to your article on the impact of short-term rentals on property prices [“Surprises in Short-Term Rental Data,” Aug. 26, front page], there are unfortunate effects beyond sky-high prices: primarily, a loss of community.
In my neighborhood of Pleasant Point in Wellfleet, I have the unfortunate experience of living next door to a home that was inherited by the children (now in their 80s) of the former owner. These long-term owners invest little in the upkeep of their property, never occupy the house during the high rental season, and do everything they can to maximize the cash they can extract from their property — all of which comes at the expense of their neighbors.
Frankly, I never would have bought my home and invested in a renovation if I knew the neighboring property was being run as a commercial enterprise. These owners would most likely have sold their property a long time ago if they didn’t have the ability to squeeze as much cash as they do out of it. Imagine if new owners were given the opportunity to fix up the home, send their kids to the local schools, volunteer for local organizations, or just be neighbors.
I’m all for year-round and three-month or seasonal rentals, but I support increasing taxes on short-term rentals and limiting the amount of time properties can be rented on that basis.
To the editor:
The Provincetown Part-Time Resident Taxpayers Association’s position on Provincetown’s residential tax exemption (RTE) is accurately represented in your Aug. 26 article “RTE to Remain 25%” [page A12]. However, we want to address certain mischaracterizations of the PPRTA made by a select board member.
It is disappointing that we were described as “negative” and “divisive,” particularly when we have an overall good working relationship with the select board. PPRTA represents the collective views of its members in an informed, constructive, and helpful way. Although part-time residents contribute 85 percent of the resident tax base, they cannot run for the select board or serve on regulatory boards or as regular members on other boards. This leaves the three-minute public comment period during select board meetings as one of the only ways our voices can be heard.
Part-time residents’ recent public comments have addressed much more than the RTE. PPRTA members have advocated for access for all Provincetown residents to the incremental sewer gallons to be released soon and for improved broadband access and speed. We have praised the select board and town manager for their outstanding handling of the Covid outbreak in Provincetown. Part-time residents also contribute to the community as nonprofit board members and donors and volunteers on town committees, and the PPRTA recently provided 150 nights of housing for filmmakers and staff during the Provincetown International Film Festival.
We believe the select board is making progress in a number of areas, while addressing the challenges of the pandemic. We hope that the board will continue to build trust in our good intentions and will continue to be a valued partner dedicated to making this already wonderful town an even better place to live and work for all residents.
Brooklyn, N.Y. and Provincetown
The writer speaks for the PPRTA Board of Directors, of which she is president.
To the editor:
We write to express our concern about the situation at Napi’s Restaurant, as reported in the Independent on Aug. 19 [“They Worked for Napi for Years; Now They’re Being Evicted,” front page] and Aug. 26 [‘Former Napi’s Workers Still Have Nowhere to Go,” page A6].
Napi’s is a Provincetown icon, beloved by locals and visitors alike for its unique art collection, eclectic menu, and personable longtime wait staff. Before Covid, we patronized Napi’s on a weekly basis. Over the decades, Napi Van Dereck and his wife, Helen, established a reputation in the community as humanitarians and lovers of the environment.
In the winter, Napi supported and hosted the Center for Coastal Studies lectures. In the early days, Napi was known to trade food for art, helping locals and eventually donating his valuable collection to PAAM. And, yes, Napi brought many Jamaicans to Provincetown. Napi’s spirit is one of generosity, loyalty, and community care.
We are saddened to hear of the alleged unprofessional, if not callous, actions of the new management. We look forward to understanding both sides of this story, but, as reported, if all the employees being evicted are Jamaican, does this not smack of racism?
We sincerely hope that Napi’s restaurant survives with its spirit and longtime personnel intact. We count on the Independent’s reporters to deliver the full picture.
Ellen Anthony and Marty Hassell
Truro and Provincetown