Worcester needs a 10 percent cap on affordable housing. The only exceptions should be affordable homeownership and quality senior housing. And the Chamber of Commerce should support the 10 percent cap.
The 10 percent cap is just as important as commuter rail. In fact, the positive effects of commuter rail will be greater with the 10 percent cap. The cap offers investors more security, attracting new industry, and expanding Worcester’s tax base. The cap will dramatically increase Worcester’s customer base with higher disposable income, and nothing is more important to business than a growing customer base.
The Chamber of Commerce has done nothing for Worcester. Over the last 50 years, it’s watched our downtown go from the number one retail center to a ghost town. It watched stores like Sears, Jordan Marsh (Macy’s) and Filenes leave Worcester, and did nothing to stop this tragedy. It watched towns like Auburn and Westboro go upscale as Worcester went downscale. Today, the second-largest city in New England doesn’t even have a Macy’s.
Remember, what good things that are happening to Worcester today have nothing to do with the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce now has the opportunity to do something for Worcester besides trying to tax homeowners to death. There are many ways to help business without shifting more tax burden onto homeowners, and the 10 percent cap is one of them. If the Chamber of Commerce truly supports Worcester, it will rally in favor of the 10 percent cap.
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