CLT Memo to House
Monday, July 30, 2018
to New Neighborhood Taxation
To: Members of the
Cc: Members of the Massachusetts Senate
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
neighbor government and neighborhood taxing power. We understand that
the vote came up so quickly that many didn’t know or appreciate the
ramifications of what they were voting for.
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 if passed we hope
he will again in 2018.
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
"House Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez said . . . 'This
local-option bill is going to allow property owners in a community to
pool their resources together to improve community through this benefits
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
micro-municipality, a neighborhood tax.
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
The Senate recently passed H-4546 by seven votes with 15 senators in
opposition, both Democrats and Republicans. Apparently they had
more time to read the bill and appreciate the consequences, consider
what they were voting on and what it would inflict upon their
H-4546 is now back in your hands. We hope you will take the time to
more carefully consider what it will inflict upon your constituents ―
all who will pay this inevitable new tax.
hope this time that you will not support this blatant end-run
around Proposition 2½.
hope that by your No vote you will at least provide Gov. Baker with the
inspiration and support to again veto this new assault on your
hope that you will not continue as a participant in the creation of this
new layer of government and taxation, virtually unaccountable. If
H-4546 becomes law, it will be a very long-lasting legacy for those who
support it. We hope you will not be known and remembered as one of
ask that you reject this new tax ploy, H-4546.
Citizens for Limited Taxation ▪ PO
Box 1147 ▪ Marblehead, MA 01945