Amagansett residents gave themselves a tax increase last week. On Oct. 3, 140 people who live in that hamlet’s fire district trooped to the firehouse to support a bond deal that will add something on the order of $50 to $100 a year, depending on assessments, to their property tax bills. Similarly, higher school and library levies have also passed in recent rounds of voting. Considered together, these votes suggest, at the very least, that no widespread well of anti-tax sentiment exists here.
Of course, fire districts and schools are like mom and apple pie, and each has strongly motivated constituencies to help guarantee budget-vote successes. Still, we can’t help but notice that when given a choice, local residents have time and again approved tax hikes.
It seems that residents’ willingness to pay more when asked for something they think is worthwhile is at variance with the tax-cutting obsession that now reigns in East Hampton Town Hall. No one likes paying higher taxes. But it also appears that when residents perceive a good cause they are willing to vote yes with their hard-earned dollars and cents.