Today closes out the state's Fiscal Year 1999. Tomorrow starts FY 2000 and still the
conference committee wrangles over how much of our over-taxation they will squander, and
how they can avoid giving back any more than is utterly necessary. The conferees are also
conspiring how to furtively grab even more, hoping we won't notice, but even if we do,
plotting how to separate us from more of our income anyway.
In today's editorial, "Pension
sanity," Worcester's Telegram & Gazette notes: "The attempted pension
grab by the teachers unions -- under the guise of eliminating burned out educators --
should have been declared dead on arrival when it reached Beacon Hill a few weeks ago.
Incredibly, some misguided lawmakers want to extend it to other state workers."
Meanwhile, today's Boston Globe editorial, "Budgeting
time," announced: "We favor the Senate's moremodest and targeted tax
reductions and its more generous funding of education reform, while we believe that the
House is right in wanting to put most of the tobacco settlement money into a permanent
Yesterday's Telegram & Gazette editorial (below) exposes again the Beacon Hill
pols' surreptitious hands slipping into our pockets for even more of our hard-earned
Don't say later that you weren't warned!
Telegram & Gazette
Tuesday, June 29, 1999
Senate plots $100 million Registry money grab
A Telegram & Gazette editorial
Hold on to your wallets, taxpayers, the Massachusetts Senate is hatching another
plan to separate you from your money this time an estimated $100 million a year it would
extract from motorists by reimposing driver's license and registration fees.
At a time of huge state revenue surpluses -- in spite of spending growth at triple
the rate of inflation -- the money grab is inexcusable.
State Sen. Robert A. Havern, D-Arlington, Transportion Committee chairman, says
more taxpayers' money is needed to ensure the cost of the Big Dig doesn't dry up funding
for local road projects.
Please. The Legislature's much-used "earmarking" dodge has long since
Actually, the Registry bonanza simply would disappear into the state's vast,
overflowing general fund, to be spent or squandered at the Legislature's whim.
When the Weld-Cellucci administration wiped out the license and registration fees
in 1996, it ended the inherently unfair practice of exacting payments for routine renewal
of mandated registrations and licenses.
At time when the Senate leadership is touting populist "targeted tax
cuts" and other devices calculated to redistribute the wealth -- albeit, generally at
the expense of middle class wage earners -- few taxes are as regressive as Registry fees.
The greatest burden falls on residents who can afford it the least.
It is unfortunate that legislative leaders are backsliding into the tax-and-spend
mind-set of the Massachusetts "miracle" years. When the bubble of unsustainable
growth in government programs and taxation bursts, the consequences can be disastrous.
Motorists should rise and oppose this $100 million money grab.
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