and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

October 16, 2006

An Open Query to Deval Patrick
from Barbara Anderson

Dear Deval:

My quarterly property tax of $864 is due on November 1. My total annual property tax on my five room house is $3,456.

If you become governor, what will my property tax be next year at this time?

You say you do not support the voter-mandated income tax rollback because you want to "cut the property tax" instead. Please tell us how you are going to do this. We havenít heard, and cannot find on your website, any specific plan.

As the organization that created Proposition 2Ĺ, we are second to none in our concern about property taxes. Though Prop 2Ĺ limits their annual growth to 2Ĺ percent a year, we agree that they are still too high. Do you plan to lower the annual increase to 2 percent? Or to discourage overrides by cutting local aid if property taxes increase?

Iíve been using my share of the voter-mandated income tax cut to pay my property tax increases. If the income tax rate is cut to 5%, as the voters ordered, I will apply my share of that Ė $111.00 Ė to my property tax bill.

If the rate is not cut to 5%, despite the voter mandate, if you are elected will your plan cut my property tax by $111.00 next year?

We did find a plan on your website to expand education efforts so that elderly homeowners know about existing property tax relief that is available to them. This is based on an assumption that they havenít yet figured this out or that their community doesnít already tell them?

You also mention wanting to expand "the circuit breaker property tax credit." In fact, the "circuit breaker" is not a property tax credit, it is an income tax credit. And it is, as we said when it passed, very difficult to understand. But if you donít know even know what tax it cuts, how are you going to "educate" seniors about it?

You suggest a "rational revenue structure, sensible tax policy and fair distribution of state resources to cities and towns -- so that property taxes can be lowered and kept low."

Please tell us exactly how this would work. By how much will our taxes be lowered?

All we can find that is specific is your plan for "New Revenue" (i.e., new taxes). You want "to raise additional revenue from such sources as a reasonable local meals tax."

So letís make sure we understand. The seniors, who are going to be "educated" about existing tax abatements, and who await your actual plan to actually cut their property taxes, will have to pay more taxes when they meet their friends for breakfast at the local coffee shop.

All things considered, we think it best if you just respect and honor the voters and rollback the income tax rate to 5 percent. In return, we can promise to apply that tax relief to our property tax bill or rent.


Barbara Anderson

Cc. Massachusetts media

Ė 30 Ė

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