Newburyport, Tax Relief

Now that I’ve chit chatted about the Republican point of view towards local fiscal woes, George Cushing, the political consultant for the Newburyport Blog felt it was really time to take a look at the Democrat point of view.

Ok, George. Good idea.

And that means taking a look at Governor Deval’s “Partnership Act” (The long version, the “Municipal Partnership Act.”), which I gather is still being “tweaked.” And I gather the Partnership Act is not support by one and all. Gee, what a surprise.

Let’s start with something simple in the proposal:

The Partnership Act would allow cities and towns to adopt a sales tax on meals of up to 2 percent in addition to the 5 percent state tax.

25 percent would go to property tax relief for seniors.

“Local officials, Patrick testify on behalf of partnership act”, Tuesday, April 10, 2007

“Patrick described the local option taxes on meals as “purely a local decision.”

“The idea is to trust local communities to make those judgments by themselves according to their own circumstances,” he said.

He cited studies showing that New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle all have higher meals taxes than Boston would if it were able to enact the local option tax.

“In all those places the restaurant business is booming,” Patrick added.

Twenty-five percent of the revenue generated by the local option meals tax and room occupancy tax would be used to reimburse cities and towns for property tax exemptions that senior citizens are eligible for.”

By MMA Associate Editor Mitch Evich

A Republican response to this, aside from the fact that it’s yet one more tax on top of all the other taxes is this:

“Deval’s local tax hike scheme actually gets worse in the details. The reason, friends, is that communities that make the mistake of raising these local taxes only get to keep 75 percent of the hike. The rest goes into (hold your breath) a state fund that would reimburse communities that provide property tax abatements for senior citizens.”, February 28, 2007

Liberal Democrat that I am, I think 25% towards a property relief for seniors is a good thing. That one really works for me.

Mary Eaton