The Local Economy

Yarmouth Wastewater Project

The Town of Yarmouth wastewater project will create opportunities for business investment that can provide year-round employment and reduce the tax burden of the town’s residential properties by growing the town’s commercial tax levy. Today in 2022 the residential levy assumes responsibility for over 91% of levy obligation, compared to in 2002 when the residential levy obligation was 85%1. This persistent pattern of increasing reliance on residential taxpayers is evident on the chart Tax Levy % by Class (2002 to 2022) with a rise in residential levy and a slow decline in commercial. 

A current constraint to commercial investment is the need to install cost-burdensome on-site wastewater systems during property development. Evidence of investment decline is apparent in vacant and underutilized properties along Route 28. With the introduction of wastewater infrastructure, the Donahue Institute Study identifies the possibility of commercial investment approaching $100 million. This scale of investment will help Yarmouth move toward an economy that can reduce the tax burden on residential properties, while providing more diversity in amenities and redevelopment. 

Phase One of the town's wastewater plan commences with the Route 28 commercial corridor and South Shore Drive in order to stimulate commercial investment early in the project. Investments in these Phase One properties will provide new commercial revenue that can serve as a catalyst to fund future phases of the town's wastewater project. 

The economy in Yarmouth currently relies heavily on the tourism industry. This is due to both the fact that Yarmouth is a premier tourism destination that can attract tourism-based businesses, and that businesses in other sectors of the economy are unlikely to invest in communities without wastewater infrastructure. The wastewater project presents an opportunity for the town to diversify its economic base to create a more resilient business community that's less sensitive to economic downturns and seasonal fluctuations. Development in new industries in Yarmouth such as medical and telecommunication offices will allow the town to attract higher paying jobs and reduce the community's reliance on the tourism economy.   

1. Source: Massachusetts Division of Local Services

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Tax Levy By Class
Tax Levy By Class 2002-2022
2002 Tax Levy By Class
2022 Tax Levy By Class

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