- First, there's a reason why mid-year cuts to local aid is so nefarious. I was going to post them, but Pablo did it for me. Suffice it to say, not only does it screw over students who are taking classes when their teachers are suddenly laid off, but mid-year cuts mean way more layoffs, because you can't cut through teacher attrition (retirements or people moving on), or through cutting textbooks and supplies, money long since spent. What would be maybe 2-3 layoffs at the beginning of the year, with the same spending cuts, become 5 or 6 layoffs midway through, because now you're paying for unemployment. It's the worst kind of policy, the incredibly stupid kind.
- It's not the state's only option. What ever happened to allowing a local option meals and hotel tax? The state can't cut local aid without giving cities and towns options. They continue to dump every problem on cities and towns and don't give them any of the tools to deal with them. If the state allowed a meals and hotel tax, many cities and towns wouldn't feel the state cuts at all. The state needs to grow up and at least do that much for cities and towns. A local option isn't that much to ask!
- Bottom line: We went through cutting $1.4 billion of painful midyear cuts a few months ago. We can't cut another billion on top of that. The damage is too great. Raising the income tax by .3% is a no brainer: it would only cost the average worker $126/year (42k x .003), or about $5.50 a paycheck, assuming 23 paychecks a year. That creates about $900 million in new revenue. Crisis averted.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
More on Raising Taxes (Give towns options!)
The Globe posted about Patrick's plans to cut another billion off the budget this year. I posted my thoughts yesterday: we can't just cut ourselves out of this mess. We live in one of the most expensive states in the country, yet pay taxes below the national average. Something's gotta give - and that's the income tax. There's a few more important points to make.