CLT Memo to GOP Representatives
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
to New Neighborhood Taxation
Contact: Chip Ford, Executive Director
May 30 the House passed
H-4546 to establish "community
benefit districts" ― which is nothing more than a stealthy way of
creating a whole new tier
of government with the
power to create additional
Effectively, it's an end-run around the restrictions of Proposition 2½
by dividing municipalities into "community benefit districts" that can
then additionally tax residents of individual sub-divisions of
cities and towns ― a new neighborhood tax.
Yours was one of those votes cast which supported creating this new
neighborhood government and neighborhood taxing power. We understand that
the vote came up so quickly that many didn’t know what they were voting
for. It would seem that the default position when one doesn’t know what
a bill would do should be a nay vote, but it happened.
the time, the State House News Service reported:
"Lawmakers have previously attempted to give property owners the option
of establishing community benefit districts, and included a provision
authorizing them in the fiscal 2018 budget bill. That section was vetoed
by Gov. Charlie Baker who said the assessments are 'the functional
equivalent of new property taxes.'"
Gov. Baker was correct then, and this radical imposition remains “the
functional equivalent of new property taxes” — nothing more than a sly
end-run around Proposition 2½.
"Lawmakers . . . attempted to give property tax owners the option" to be
taxed even more. How very generous, if duplicitous. Gov. Baker twice
saw through the scheme, most recently last year, and he should again in
Sadly, the bill passed in the House with only two
votes against it; Reps
Michelle DuBois (D-Brockton) and Denise Provost (D-Somerville). There
was not even a single Republican vote against this property tax hike
subterfuge — not one.
"House Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez said there is broad
agreement on the legislation (H 4546) that passed the House on a 149-2
vote on Wednesday, which he described as a 'compromise.'
"'This local-option bill is going to allow property owners in a
community to pool their resources together to improve community through
this benefits district proposal,' Sanchez said on the floor Wednesday."
That is what municipal property taxes, auto excise taxes, fees, et
cetera already do and what that revenue raised is supposed to
fund. Now the Legislature is attempting to further burden taxpayers
with yet another ― new ―
layer of government with additional taxing authority: the
CLT executive director Chip Ford said, “Block by block they're coming
for taxpayers. Will the Legislature next propose also taxing us at the
street level, then backyard by backyard? Today such speculation is not
Last week the Senate passed H-4546 by seven votes with 15 senators in
opposition, both Democrats and Republicans. Apparently they had
more time to read and debate the bill, consider what they were voting
on, and what it would inflict upon their constituents.
H-4546 is now back in your hands. We hope you will take the time to
read and consider it more closely.
hope this time that you will not support this blatant end-run
around Proposition 2½.
hope that by your No vote you will provide Gov. Baker with the
inspiration and support to again veto this new assault on taxpayers.
hope that you will not continue as a participant in the creation of this
new layer of government and taxation. If H-4546 becomes law, it will be
a very long-lasting legacy for those who supported it. We hope you will
not be known and remembered as one of them.
ask that you reject this new tax ploy, H-4546.
Citizens for Limited Taxation ▪ PO
Box 1147 ▪ Marblehead, MA 01945