North Adams Mayor Dick Alcombright compared his city’s financial situation this week to Detroit. Last year the Michigan city declared bankruptcy. Alcombright says North Adams has no reserve funds left, and he will seek a property tax increase later this year. City residents would have to approve the increase, known as a Proposition 2-and-a-half override, a process that’s passed several cities and towns in past years. Alcombright says unlike other municipalities, North Adams has no savings in the bank.
“In our case, we have nothing to go back on,” says Alcombright. “In other words, a fire truck motor burns out this week, after the first of the year, I’ve got nowhere to find that money, I don’t have any reserves to do that with.”
Alcombright says he’s looking to raise about $1.5 million with the tax increase. He says that would cost the average family an extra $180. Meanwhile, a proposal in the state budget would give North Adams a one-time $750,000 dollar grant.