By Carol Britton Meyer
Three cheers for those Hingham businesses -- retail, restaurants, and everything in-between -- that have made it through this challenging year. Some didn't and are missed.
Property taxes may seem like a boring subject, but the Selectmen's recent decision to follow tradition by maintaining a single tax rate for all town properties -- residential and commercial -- was a show of support for all Hingham businesses, especially those who are struggling during this time of economic uncertainty.
A split tax rate would shift some of the tax burden from residential to commercial property. However, with commercial properties comprising only a small portion of the town's total valuation, any shift of the tax burden in that direction would be detrimental to the town's businesses, especially during these times.
"Local business owners have expressed gratitude to the town for keeping the same tax rate. Many of the businesses, especially in downtown Hingham, are smaller stores and would have difficulty paying a higher tax rate," Hingham Director of Assessing Erin Walsh said recently. "Many of these local businesses contribute generously to our students by donating to various fundraising efforts benefitting many sports, theater, and other programs."
It's been a difficult year for Hingham businesses -- and heading into winter poses its own challenges -- so let's support our local retail shops, restaurants, and other services throughout the holiday season and beyond.