Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My New Favorite Phrase!

"Tax Freedom."

I actually, truly love it. I'm sure Rush Limbaugh would have a field day with it, but who cares what spews forth from his mouth anyway? Towns should have more tax freedom - an ability to decide what in the town should be taxed and what shouldn't. Furthermore, they should have an ability to decide how much those taxes will be. There are risks and rewards for everything a town or person does - and those risks are different wherever you go. Towns should be able to make that assessment on their own.

Tax freedom... a new way to add a little "small d" democracy into government, with a brilliant term to package it. Sadly, in this day and age, winning the battle of rhetorics can often determine the outcome of the war. If my gut instincts are right, towns are one step closer to being able to choose whether or not the potential added revenue is worth the risk of driving away business (my guess is it won't). It'll be interesting to watch - kind of like a lab, except with real people instead of little mice and monkeys. PETA should be thrilled!

PS: Let's not just give Boston the car keys, every town and city in Massachusetts needs them. If almost 60% of Boston's budget comes from property taxes, it's probably 75-80% of most small towns. Granted, they'll always be at a disadvantage (and in most cases can afford such, as long as its not overly burdensome), but all towns and cities deserve a little flexibility in dealing with their own problems - by creating their own solutions.


Anonymous said...

Mass already has a bad rap from a national perspective about our tax situation. Prospective employers, large companies which is what we want, would certainly be scared away even more if town/city taxes get thrown into their re-locating/expansion equations.

Ryan Adams said...

The large report from Harvard actually indicates the opposite. Large companies are scared off by high property taxes - which adds up to 60% of Boston's revenue structure.

That's more than twice as much as the next highest city from the study (Seattle @ 27%)!

What's going to scare businesses away quicker? Millions of dollars in property taxes - or the fact that their employees are going to have to pay a few dollars more when they go out to lunch?

Regardless, it's time America stop setting up policies that only benefit businesses - we're at their every beck and call. We give all sorts of tax incentives for a few years... then they pack up and leave, laying off thousands. It's a recipe that we've been cooking with for decades with disastrous consequences. It's like knowingly eating peanuts when you're allergic.

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