I spent 10 years as a China selectman and was constantly asked “What do I get for my property tax?” The current lake access issue is one answer. The purchase of an established beach with facilities for changing clothes, cookouts, and bathrooms with a minimum slope to the water to accommodate physically handicap residents already has built-in value.

Let’s talk about cost. China’s tax rate is 1.46 cents on each dollar of property valuation (82 percent is spent on education and a portion of tax is paid by non-residents). The rest is spent for county taxes, transfer station and to run local government services. Here’s an example: If you own a $100,000 home, your taxes are $1,460 a year. If your tax increases one mil, your yearly tax would increase by $100. That’s not a lot of money to pay for a place on the lake.

Now, let’s compare taxes: China property tax,1.46 cents on a dollar; sales tax, 5.5 cents on a dollar; restaurant tax, 8 cents; gallon of gas, 31.2 cents. We already pay taxes in a town with a lake of the same name that now only 15 percent of its taxpayers get to use it with all the comforts of home.

There’s been the argument of other existing locations. Locations without facilities, very little parking and/or a shoreline slope too severe for handicap use. With today’s strict building codes it would be impossible to build a commercial facility like Candlewood.

Finally, I want to thank the committee for its hard work finding the best beach property for the 85 percent of China taxpayers who don’t live on the lake.

Neil Farrington

China