It is unthinkable that emergency responders would not respond to a 911 call from any address in town. A cry for help anywhere brings out police, firefighters and ambulance crews, with wages, equipment and training paid for by property taxpayers. Other taxpayer-sustained services are less urgent but still indispensable to non-taxpayers alike: waste management, for instance, and keeping storm sewers unclogged.
The question of institutions paying the property taxes that support municipal emergency and quality-of-life services should not be “if” but “how much?” Nothing in life is free - except for large consumers of municipal services. The tax-exempt status granted them by the state of Connecticut undermines the concept of shared civic responsibility.
The Day welcomes the efforts of New London officials to take the first steps in spreading the costs of municipal services to those who use them. The city is not at this time proposing to collect for the costs of police or other emergency services, but ideas for charging all users a fee for trash pickup and recycling and for stormwater discharge upgrades are fair, sensible and overdue. It’s a start at involuntary sharing of expenses by the non-taxpayers that benefit from them.