Saturday, October 11, 2008

Question One would devastate Massachusetts

Governor Patrick met or conference called with 37 Massachusetts mayors yesterday, warning that cuts in state aid may be inevitable. He will announce cuts to the $28.2 billion dollar budget this upcoming week. Dan Ring, Springfield Republican, details some of the mayor responses here.

Question One, which calls for the elimination of the state income tax, will cut the state's revenues by 40%.

Half or more of Massachusetts cities' budgets come from the state coffers. Springfield's $529 million budget includes $310 million from the state. Right now cities and towns are preparing for a 7% cut. What if that cut were 40% instead of 7%?

If you were mayor, how would you make the hard choices if you lost 40% of your state aid? Of course you'd want to save as much of the fire and police departments' services as possible, but layoffs would have to take place. And then what? Teachers? Road repair? Solid waste management?

Meanwhile, the state would be cutting 40% of the services that they fund directly. Health care, home care for seniors, job development, environmental services, shelters for homeless families, community colleges, state parks--- the list goes on and on.

Question One is tempting for individuals and families who already are having a hard time making ends meet. Add to that the fact that we all know where waste is present in city and state budgets, and we all feel like our input isn't valued very much. But in this case, the cure is worse than the disease. Question One didn't make sense even before our current financial meltdown; I can't imagine our communities suffering these cuts now unless we all want chaos in the streets.

2 comments:

leo taylor said...

Vote YES of question 1. Obviously Beacon Hill was not listening when they froze the roll back. The only way to cut the fat is to cut off the source of cash being collected. You may see this as too Risky but in my opnion this is the only way to drive home the argument we are not going to take it anymore!!! I have to ask why should I not vote for this. What I do see is the only group pushing NO is the unions!!! Its time to send the state workers a message that they need to pay their fair share on health benifits like the rest of us!!! VOTE YES!!!!!

Arkady said...

Hello,

I spent a few weeks researching and putting together information to make an educational and I hope convincing
video about Question 1.

I would appreciate any exposure if you believe the video is worthy and can change minds.

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_L-i3RgSx0