Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Thursday, April 02, 2009
  The Globe Ed Board Gets One Right
I wonder what the chairman of the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Revenue thinks about this:
IF TOWNS and cities are going to maintain public services during the current downturn, they are going to need access to the kind of new revenue that the Legislature has always been unwilling to grant them. This week or next, a special legislative commission on municipal finances is expected to break new ground by calling for local-option taxes on meals and lodging, as well as the elimination of the property-tax exemption for telecommunications gear.
Speaker DeLeo's absolute lack of understanding (or is simply a lack of compassion?) of the revenue issues faced by small cities and towns boggles my mind. Therefore I tend to think that any real leadership on this issue is going to have to come from the Senate.

I get the impression that the new House leadership is dead set against even the tiniest loosening of their grip on the state's purse strings. Someone with good sized soapbox needs to call them on it.
you may be right....but the globe ed board may not be long for this world....
Yeah... I just saw that. Yikes.
Greg -

On Tuesday (April 7), we had a 7 hour hearing on this proposal and many others. Right now, the committee, and the legislature as a whole, is struggling with determining the depth of our drop in revenues and how to best address it. All solutions are on the table.

Local options are a centerpiece of the Municipal Relief Commission that Senator Rosenberg is spearheading, to which this article refers. I am a member of that Commission.

Because of the fiscal outlook for the state, there seems to be a new openness to all solutions that give municipalities a more diversified revenue stream and help preserve core services. At this point, nothing is set in stone, but you can be assured, we are working on the issue and trying to help cities and towns and the residents we all serve.

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