Hingham: Officials propose middle school debt tax reduction

Hingham selectmen are proposing a way to reduce property taxes to pay off the debt incurred from the construction of the town’s new middle school.

The board has proposed the use a few different forms of funding to reduce the burden to taxpayers to pay off the debt, by using funds collected by the town’s meals tax and revenues from the town’s operating budget.

Hingham Town Administrator Ted Alexiades said, “This is an initiative of the board of selectmen to lower property taxes in the town. What they’re doing this year is applying the meals tax that they’ve been collecting and holding for several years, banking for this bill they knew was coming due – the $35 million middle school project. The first large debt service payment is due next fiscal year. So they’ve been saving that money to begin mitigating those impacts. In addition, they’re going to use the annual meals tax allotment to lower the cost of that project. On top of that, they’re proposing an additional $500,000 per year, every year going forward, from the general operating revenues of the town, further lowering the taxes and that represents a little less than 1% reduction in property taxes.”

Alexiades says the proposal basically cuts middle school project property taxes in half.

“Overall what they’ve done and taken a project that we thought was going to cost about $2.7 million in its highest year and dropped it down to about $1.2 million – less than half.”

About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.