Indian Hill Music Backs Out of MOU. Ticket Tax Is An Issue.
By Connie Sartini
Town Manager Mark Haddad advised the Select Board that Indian Hill Music has requested to withdraw from a proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the town regarding additional permits beyond the $73,000 Sheet Metal Permit and other fees that would be required for their construction project on Old Ayer Road.
Initially, Indian Hill Music requested the MOU to document any other additional costs from the town. However, the Select Board wanted additional items included in this MOU, including payment for the Police Detail needed for the proposed construction by IHM at the intersection of Old Ayer Road and Boston Road, any costs for complying with the Planning Board Special Permit, and a proposal for a Performance Ticket tax.
Haddad said that the addition of the ticket tax was an issue for IHM. He added that the MOU “is off the table and we will enforce our rules and regulations as we go forward.”
Acting Chairman Alison Manugian asked what the process would be to set up a ticket tax. Haddad said that Town Meeting would have to vote it and ask the state to pass special legislation for this. Once the vote goes to the Legislature, he added, “If passed and the governor signs it, it becomes law.” Select Board member John Giger commented, “If it goes like the Charter. We will wait a long time.”
Colleague Becky Pine said she felt that this is an important discussion and that all parties should be included in the discussion. Giger added, “The discussion of the ticket tax should be held in public.”
Selectman Josh Degen, the chief proponent of the ticket tax proposal, said he would like to work with the Town Manager and look at other situations like this in the state. “I am sorry that Indian Hill takes offense at what came up. All building (permits) have the same issues to address…Indian Hill asked for this and we threw in the kitchen sink.”
Haddad said that the $73,000 Sheet Metal Permit has not been issued, and no fee has been paid, noting that “it can’t be inspected if no permit is issued.” Giger stressed, “If there is no permit for the sheet metal, the Building Inspector should issue a Cease and Desist Order.”