| Newton MA News and Politics BlogA story in the Boston Globe today by John Hilliard reports on the substantial local tax breaks that three of Newton’s private country clubs enjoy.  Between the three country clubs they get annual tax breaks of nearly $2 million thanks to a provision of state law intended to preserve open land and recreational spaces.

“That’s a huge deal. That could pay for teachers, firefighters, and police,” said Victoria Danberg, a Newton city councilor who opposes the tax breaks. “The taxpayers of the city of Newton are 100 percent footing the bill for these private clubs.”

Mayor Ruthanne Fuller of Newton, in a statement to the Globe, said she is encouraging the state “to reexamine the financial benefits” provided to recreational properties like golf courses.  She acknowledged that communities can benefit from the open space and opportunity to purchase land under the program, but, Fuller added, “the level of abatement that state law currently allows deserves a second look.”