A Dec. 29 article in the Union-News, "Agencies beg for funding," stated: "City Health and
Human Services Director Helen Caulton-Harris said that budget cuts have affected all
local health and service programs."
Let us all be aware that the state income tax rollback, opposed by 41 percent of voters last
year, still puts money into the pockets of those million-plus voters. This is money
they said they did not want or need.
We would hope that the opponents of Question 4 would donate
their tax savings to causes they hold dear. Citizens for Limited Taxation attempted to make this easier through a
voluntary tax check-off on state income tax forms. Our bill was included in the House version
of the state budget - but was dropped from the final version.
Still, that does not prevent private contributions to these
needy causes by those who did not or "do not need or want" the tax reduction.
The tax savings is now in their pockets: What will they do with it?
Director of Operations
Citizens for Limited Taxation
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The Lowell Sun
Friday, January 4, 2002
Cut spending - now!
Memo to Acting Gov. Jane Swift:
Cut spending - quickly!
Sure, lawmakers slashed $650 million from the fiscal 2002 state budget last month, but
based upon December's grim revenue figures, that $650 million may have been a case of too
little, too late.
Figures released Wednesday showed that December 2001 revenues fell by $96 million from
a year ago. And that's only the tip of the fiscal iceberg.
For the first six months of fiscal year 2002, state collections are down a half billion dollars
from the first six months of fiscal 2001. They are even failing to meet economic
projections that were severely cut back after September 11.
So what's Gov. Swift to do? She has two options.
First, she can hold tight, cross her fingers, and hope that
tax revenues rebound in the spring along with the general economy, as many are predicting. But, even if the economy does
rebound this spring, tax revenues usually lag behind, according to economist Nicholas
Perna, whose consulting firm tracks the New England economy.
"The economy has a better chance of turning around quickly than tax receipts do. It might be
a while before people realize significant capital gains, and before people start exercising
And IF the economy begins to turn around in the spring, and
IF the tax coffers of the Commonwealth profit - two big IFs - that still would have little impact on a fiscal year that
ends in June.
What happens if the economy doesn't begin to turn around in
Well, that's why Gov. Swift would be wise to exercise her second option and invoke
emergency powers to revise revenue projections and cut spending herself, either with or
without the compliance of an often dilatory Legislature.
According to Administration and Finance Secretary Stephen P.
Crosby, the governor is contemplating doing just that.
Frankly, the decision should be made sooner rather than later.
Simply stated, you can't spend what you don't have. And if the Commonwealth is
hemorrhaging revenue, the only fiscally sound response is to cut spending accordingly.
Just ask former Gov. Michael Dukakis the cost of waiting until it's too late.
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