Excuses Over the Border For Raising Taxes
For almost thirty years, lucky Massachusetts has had Proposition Two and a Half.
But it can be overridden by voters on the local level. On Sunday, Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr highlighted some justifications offered to elicit “yes” votes in advance of Brookline’s override ballot two days ago.
A snooty editorial writer for a local newspaper instructed the great unwashed as to how little money the Brookline hacks want to extract from workingmen:
“That difference of $110 a year is less than the cost of a Starbucks coffee per week.”
* * *
Barbara Anderson of Citizens for Limited Taxation, the best source for information about these votes, notes a new trend this year: raising the ominous specter of teen crime waves if, say, the high school chess club is eliminated.
“The kids may get lost and turn to destructive behavior,” wrote a woman from Ashland. “The crime threat to all citizens will increase.”
And my favorite, a euphemistic update of an oldie but a goodie:
The hacks used to say they needed to pick your pockets “for the children.” That’s become a cliche, although in Beverly they’ve tried to work around it. The override is no longer for the children, it’s for “our youngest citizens.”
While Brookline’s override passed, Chip Faulkner, Associate Director of Citizens for Limited Taxation indicated this afternoon that most Prop Two and a Half override ballots have failed. He cited as the cause voter anger over ever increasing taxes and over the generosity of public sector benefits.
The beauty of Prop Two and a Half is that permission for a property tax increase over 2.5% must be obtained from those responsible for the bill. Contrast with Rhode Island, where the increase threshold is higher and, worse, authority to cross it does not vest with taxpayers.