Easthampton to vote on raising taxes in order to build new school

Hampshire County

Easthampton wants to build one new school to replace four existing schools. Funding that new school would increase property taxes, a move that voters have to approve.

Easthampton residents will decide the fate of its elementary and middle schools, this Tuesday.

The city wants to consolidate the Maple, Pepin, and Center Elementary Schools, and the White Brook Middle school. All four would be torn down to make room for a new pre-K thru 8th-grade school for more than one thousand students.

The entire project would cost the city of Easthampton more than $109 million, with the state picking up around 49 percent of that. Leaving the burden on taxpayers to pick up more than $59-million.

That would require a property tax hike which would have to be approved on a proposition two-and-a-half override.

Some residents are concerned about adding a possible $600 to $900 to their annual property tax bills.

Mayor Nicole LaChapelle told 22News, “Educating our students is a part of the city we are, which is proud and has stood up, over and over again, for its residents and the overall health of the city, whether that’s a public safety complex or a new high school.”

If the override ballot question passes, construction will begin mid-2019.

Easthampton voters go to the polls this Tuesday, May 22nd.

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