Well, so far, May has not been a great month.
First the Massachusetts Teachers
Association prevailed in its determination to keep an income tax rollback off the November
I really wanted to find out if the
voters in this state would make the Legislature keep its promise.
The Superior Court determined that the
petition was 26 signatures short of the required 64,928.
This means that if only 26 mall shoppers
who were too busy to sign the petition had stopped for a minute on their way to saving
$1.69 at a sock sale, the average taxpayer could have kept $500 a year of his own money
that now goes into the state surplus.
The next thing to go wrong was that the
Massachusetts House passed its version of the state budget, which contains more tax
increases than tax cuts.
It also includes pay raises for Speaker
Finnerans closest cronies, as well as for two Republicans to keep the minority party
in line. Dont you hate it when that happens?
The same week, Marblehead town meeting
supported more than $800,000 in Proposition 2½ debt exclusion overrides; I assure you the
vote was not unanimous, but there were as usual very few of us who dared to defy the
Last year the schools wanted an override
because of deferred maintenance and vandalism; this year they found mold, fungi and mildew
that, as an override supporter explained, "no one told the janitors to remove as it
Since a government-declared energy
crisis during the 70s resulted in taxpayer dollars being used to create air-tight
buildings, all those little spores recycled around the school and into childrens
lungs, giving the school administration a perfect excuse to take more of our money.
Pay attention, Dick and Jane; see
My mother is a philosopher who insists
that things always work out for the best, and my own lifetime experience says she is
right. When I told her about my month so far, she told me to look at the bright side, so
here it is.
Although the volunteers and voters who
were responsible for almost enough signatures will not get a tax cut, the bright side is
that neither will the taxpayers who were too busy or apathetic to sign the petition when
The bright side of the town meeting
votes is that Prop. 2½ cannot be overridden by town meeting, only by the voters, and
since the income tax rollback is dead, I and other activists around the state have more
time to work on defeating overrides this spring.
If that doesnt work, I plan to
stop maintaining and cleaning my home, then apply for a property tax abatement on the
grounds that leaks, mold, fungi and mildew have decreased its value.
Its harder to find a bright side
of the rapidly increasing state budget and the tax increases contained therein, but
Im developing a plan to simplify my life, earn less while having more time for
myself, and maybe getting below the no-tax-status threshold where I wont have to pay
any state income tax at all!
Meanwhile, the House has at least passed
a cut in the investment income tax that well hope survives the Senate; if it
doesnt there will probably be a ballot question to let voters do it themselves.
And with the wage and salary tax cut off
the ballot, there is an extra $1.2 billion in state revenues a year, far more than
necessary to repeal those turnpike tolls!
These two initiative petitions are
coming to a mall or street corner near you; heres a chance for last falls
apathetic shoppers to redeem themselves by taking time to sign them!
As someone once said, "Retreat
hell! Were just fighting in another direction."
And as I was saying, the lilacs are in
bloom, its time to get a weekend tan, get a springtime life. Isnt May a lovely