‘The RTE Is Unfair’
To the editor:
Re “Select Board Tables RTE Until 2023” [Feb. 3, page A9]:
In 1982, we built our house in North Eastham. For 40 years, we have paid real estate taxes to the town of Eastham without question. The demands we have placed on the town for municipal services have been minimal. The same holds true for other second-home owners in Eastham.
Eastham is fortunate to have 55 percent of the residential tax base provided by second homes. Vacation-home owners do not utilize your school system, though we help pay for it. Eastham’s year-round residential property owners are indirectly subsidized by the second-home owners.
Nonresident taxpayers do not have the right to vote on real estate taxes that are levied upon them. Perhaps legislation should be considered to grant all property owners the right to vote at town meetings on issues that directly affect them.
We are retired and live on fixed incomes. Just because someone owns a second home does not mean that they are wealthy.
Implementing the residential tax exemption (RTE) would be a hardship to many second-home owners. These are the same people who support town departments such as police, fire, schools, recreation, and the library. They patronize businesses throughout Eastham.
There has been a symbiotic relationship to sustain Eastham by residential taxpayers and nonresident taxpayers. The RTE jeopardizes that relationship.
The RTE is unfair to second-home owners. It is clearly taxation without representation.
John R. and Cynthia C. Ward
Rockland and North Eastham
A Small Role in a Grand System
To the editor:
It has been a hard two years. I have lost friends to the pandemic, cancer, and political strife. But suffering on the personal, national, and the international scale is nothing out of the ordinary.
Opportunism rages. Russia marches on another country that is expected to fold. Suddenly, out of the blue (and yellow) from Ukraine, comes a president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Not much was expected of him, a comedian in his previous career. He was not thought to have leadership skills.
On the first day of the invasion, Zelenskyy sent cell phone video messages to his people from the streets of the capital. He is their commander in chief. And the people are fighting like hell.
I think he is doomed. He thinks so, too. But when offered evacuation, he said, “The fight is here. I need ammunition, not a ride.”
Days later, he is still leading. He has moved other countries’ leaders to tears and action. President Zelenskyy has inspired the world. His courage is an example of grit in the face of ridiculous odds.
It is election season here on the Outer Cape. Candidates for local office are visiting their town clerks to take out nomination papers for the right to appear on the ballot and to run for office in our towns — for the right to serve our communities. It is a small role in a grand political system that ultimately selects the leadership of the United States, starting in the ballot box at town hall.
Nobody is asking me to take up arms or make Molotov cocktails. Just to show up for candidates for office.
The writer is chair of the Eastham Democratic Town Committee.
Disposing of Pesticides
To the editor:
Re Sadie Hutchings’s column on rodenticides [“How Not to Poison Your Best Friend,” Feb. 24, page B11]:
Please remember that pesticides are too toxic to trash. They should be disposed of at a household hazardous waste collection event. We have 24 such events scheduled for 2022 on Cape Cod. Go to LoveYourLocalWater.org for the dates and locations. Towns often post the information on their websites as well. Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown residents can go to the events in those towns without registration or payment. Eastham and Orleans residents can do the same in either of those two towns.
Our town and water district partners and Barnstable County collected more than 160,000 pounds of pesticides in 2021.
If you have questions, check out the website noted above or call 800-319-2783.
Incidentally, Dr. Hutchings cared for my beloved kitty, Uncle Sal, when he was poisoned with rodenticides. It was a lengthy and challenging recovery, but Sadie and her team were outstanding. Many animals are not so lucky.
The writer is manager of the Barnstable County Water Quality and Hazardous Waste Program.
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