Newburyport, Municipal Partnership Act

My question:

If the spring $1.58 million override for Newburyport’s schools does pass, what would be the next thing folks would advocate for?

If the spring $1.58 million override for Newburyport’s schools does not pass, what would be the next thing folks would advocate for?

And that brings me to my mucho research and major learning curve- the governor’s Municipal Partnership Act. (You see I’m trying to do the “unite” folks thing here.)

“Gov. Patrick called the soaring property tax burden in Massachusetts “a crisis,” and said cities and towns desperately need the ability to broaden their revenue options and reduce reliance on the property tax. He said his proposal would provide “real property tax relief.” ”
Massachusetts Municipal Association ( April 10, 2007

* Opening the state Group Insurance Commission to municipal workers, thereby saving money on health-insurance premiums.

* Realizing better investment returns for retirees’ pensions and lowering the administrative costs of managing the local pension funds.

* Allowing cities and towns to vote on a 1 or 2 percent tax on meals and hotels. 25 cents of every dollar generated by this option would go directly to property tax relief for seniors.

* Updating a century-old provision that exempts telecommunications companies from paying property taxes on their poles.”

For the entire explanation please press here.

Folks in opposition to the Municipal Partnership Act:

“The plan is to impose a new tax to take care of that pesky old tax.”, February 27th, 2007

And to deal aggressively with unions:

“The increase is driven mostly by exploding increases in health insurance and retirement costs taxpayers pay for our union town employees – our policemen, firemen, and teachers. This is because public workers pay as little as 10 percent towards their own health and retirement benefits – taxpayers pay the rest. Citizens in the private sector generally pay a much higher percent of their own health and retirement benefits – and many are lucky to have these benefits at all…

What can you do to make the new contracts fairer for taxpayers?

…demand that taxpayers be relieved from paying such a high and unfair percentage of the health and retirement benefits in the new union contracts…”, February 28, 2007

So, depending on your point of view, there does appear to be ways that folks could advocate for control on local spending and relief from local property taxes, all of which have nothing to do with a local override, which appears to me to be polarizing the community of Newburyport, MA.

Mary Eaton