Local resident, Barbara Rushmore attended PPRTA's August meeting and invited us to consider registering to vote in Provincetown. She recapped her message in a recent letter to the editor, which appeared in the Banner Thursday September 18, 2014.
The PPRTA suggests part-time residents consider registering to vote in Provincetown and we provide the following documents to help you make an informed decision. For many, registering to vote in Provincetown may not be appropriate. Non-Massachusetts residents should further consult tax and estate planning professionals before considering this option.
Then register to vote here
To the editor:
If you love Provincetown and want to vote here, do so. Go into Town Hall and register to vote at the town clerk’s office anytime they’re open. No I.D., no birth certificate needed. No proof of ownership. You are in Massachusetts.
You do not have to be a yearround resident to vote. In fact, many year-round residents go away in the winter and they deserve their vacations.
If you register to vote in Provincetown, however, you must give up your vote anywhere else, but your vote counts for a lot here.
If, in truth, anyone can register to vote here, what are the advantages and disadvantages?
Advantages: 1) You can serve on town committees. 2) You can participate in town meetings, put in articles, amend articles and vote on articles of all sorts. 3) You can register your car here at lower rates, since there is less crime here. 4) The parking permits are cheaper. 5) Your experience and advice on public purchases, etc., are invaluable.
Disadvantages: 1) Some states, like Florida, have a break in real estate taxes for residents of six months plus one day a year. 2) Boston gives a reduction in real estate taxes of 20 percent to voting residents (this is a split tax) and also gives parking rights.
But if you aren’t a sometimes Florida or Boston resident, or are willing to give up these rewards, please register to vote here.
Don’t think because you aren’t here 100 percent of the time you can’t or shouldn’t vote here. It’s up to you.
Lots of non-homeowners, such as waiters, bartenders, shop clerks, etc., come every summer and go to winter resorts to work in the winter. They go to Telluride, Key West, New Orleans, Bali, etc. They love Provincetown, consider it their home base and are registered voters. Why not you? If voters aren’t going to be here for the November voting they get absentee ballots. If you have a home here, all the more reason to establish yourself and give your advice and counsel to everyone.
As far as a split tax goes, I, for one, don’t like the idea of splitting the year-round residents and the out-of-towners. The tax return to the town would be the same amount. It is divisive and I don’t know anyone who wants it. But what is the reason some people are upset about anyone mentioning or studying any idea?
I am in favor of studying the different real estate tax rates between business and residential properties, since it is obvious to me that business properties are not taxed as highly as residential and this isn’t fair. In fairness, Provincetown has a fine-grained mix of business and residential properties. It isn’t easy to decide, when many buildings have business and residential apartments, what would be fair and just.