I was asked to film the Thursday night Planning & Development Committee hearing so as a representative of PortMedia, I could not speak; but I kept hearing over and over again, either:
“I am not in the proposed LHD district”
“I will not be in the proposed LHD district”
The assumption is that the speaker will not receive any benefit or will not be affected by the ordinance.
THEY COULD NOT BE SO WRONG!
The reason that 2300 local historic districts with 221 in Massachusetts alone have spread like wildfire is because they become economic engines for the entire community.
ALL TWELVE NON-HISTORIC DISTRICTS IN NEWBURYPORT WILL RECEIVE BENEFIT FROM THE LHD IN THE CENTER OF THE CITY.
The IRS and the Feds and the Commonwealth are well aware that local historic districts cause a ripple effect. Neighborhoods nearby the covered area also see their equity and property values going up and becoming rock solid.
Just think about it. People want to come to Newburyport because they picture it as a great community but many do not want to live in the historic old district. They move to the neighborhoods of the West End or along Turkey Hill Road – but will receive the same benefits as if they were living near the downtown if this LHD becomes a reality. That means that I, a street away from the district, will be positively affected.
This is also why the LHD is important for our infrastructure and more important for our schools. As secure, strong property values become established, tax levies become dependable and predictable which encourages tax-yields to pay for all that improvement and gives confidence for finance entities, private and public, to support such spending.
It is this important understanding that must be spread to all our citizens whether they live in Suburbia or along the water.