The Barnstable County Home Rule Charter authorizes a county tax to fund regional services, and each town pays a certain percentage based on its assessed valuation.
This tax is in addition to the deeds excise tax, received by all counties in the Commonwealth, and an assessment authorized to fund the Cape Cod Commission.
This means Cape Cod residents are subject to at least three separate County taxes in addition to any other fees that may also be charged for various services.
Up until three years ago, the Cape Cod Regional Government's budgetary problems were directly attributable to the misguided practice of overspending and balancing the annual budget by depleting the County’s reserve accounts. This was the irresponsible practice of certain past liberal County Commissioners (like Sheila Lyons), combined with lack of foresight by some County Assembly members at that time. As a result, they raised the deeds excise tax in 2016.
Now that County Government has essentially achieved fiscal stability, the County Commissioners and the Assembly of Delegates should begin to seriously consider rolling back the 2016 County tax increase.
It would be the fair and equitable thing to do on behalf of the overburdened taxpayers of this peninsula.
Barnstable County Commissioner