User fees are appropriate. But fees collected for one Yarmouth purpose should never be used for another. That’s inappropriate. The Yarmouth Town Council acted inappropriately when establishing a “sewer fee.” They fooled Yarmouth residents.

Will the council and town manager fool the residents, again?

This is simple. The Transfer Station needs improvements potentially costing $770,000. The council proposes funding improvements from a “user fee” – a bag fee called pay-as-you-throw. However, when improvements are completed, residents will continue to pay the fee. How will that future revenue be spent?

As proposed, that revenue will be spent without restrictions. Thankfully, Councilor Andrew Kittredge adamantly opposes that, strongly urging councilors to incorporate language requiring post-construction “bag fees” directly offset property taxes.

Yarmouth taxpayers were fooled with the so-called sewer fee. Now, the town manager and councilors plan this bag fee. If adopted, it must not deceive taxpayers again. Language must be included in this and similar future ordinances so councils can’t casually employ user fees, or shuffle such revenue while disingenuously disguising a tax. Remember, “fee” revenue is not calculated in the very visible tax rate.

Please let all Yarmouth councilors know you strongly support Kittredge’s recommendation.

Bill Gardiner
Yarmouth