Op-Ed: Proposed transfer tax allows politicians to avoid tough choices, pass on cost of inefficiency

open letter newport ri

This Op-Ed/Letter To The Editor was written and submitted by Gordon King, a Newport resident and local realtor. Have an opinion that you want to share with our readers? Email it to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.

One view on the proposed new transfer tax supported by five of seven council members. Please note who they are for the next election.

Important to understand that I am a real estate agent in Newport so I do think it will impact my clients both buyers and sellers and ultimately my family.

I am also born and raised in Newport in the 5th ward and my father was a Gardner and my mother came here in 1919 as a maid at the Breakers for the Vanderbilt’s from the Isle Of Mann. I am connected to the city and my family has been for going on over 200 years.

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The Bit Players

This new proposed transfer tax, on top of years of small and not so small increases in every fee paid by residents, simply allows politicians to avoid the tough choices and pass on the cost of inefficiency to either out of state home buyers, tourists or those that eat in restaurants or those going to events. Sad it also gets passed on to taxpayers.

Water rates are high and going higher and all of these “small” increases that get passed on without seemingly the slightest concern on how they impact those on fixed incomes only moves the city to a place of the forgotten. Even a few dollars a month added to a fixed budget can mean less food, using only 50% of a prescription or giving up a beloved pet.

I remember when my father passed away many years ago thinking he had left the family homestead to my mother debt free. No mortgage and only $690.00 a year of property taxes. She had a small savings account, a small pension from the phone company; she was a telephone operator, and the small nest egg my dad had left. The rush to convert mansions to condominiums that gripped the city and the lie related to all that was that all of this new development was going to allow for local property taxes to stay low. We all know how that worked out.

Today we have failed schools and the only people that can afford to live in the 5th ward are second homeowners. Now the city wants to punish homeowners to fund their own lack of courage in making decisions that actually benefit residents and particularly those that are without a voice, not the powerful but those that have lived here for generations and have no voice.

Gordon King

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