To: Members of the General Court
May 1, 2007
Re: Mayday for Proposition 2½ –
S.1697, Sen. Baddour; H.2840,
Citizens for Limited Taxation takes second place
to no one in its concern for senior citizens facing unaffordable
property taxes. When we placed Proposition 2½ on the1980
ballot, we were especially aware of the relief it would provide
seniors and others on fixed incomes.
But some communities are passing overrides without regard to lower-
or fixed-income people, of all ages, who cannot afford them.
When we created an override provision, we anticipated that it would
be used for emergencies and unusual circumstances, not for operating
budgets year after year. We did not envision local officials
giving their unions extraordinary pension and health insurance
benefits that would become “fixed costs,” paid for by taxpayers with
high fixed costs of their own.
Though focused on senior citizens, we intended to limit property
taxes for all citizens. We are opposed to new bills that give
a break to seniors at the expense of young families with mortgages,
family healthcare expenses, future college tuition and their own
retirement savings. We are especially opposed to S.1697 and
H.2840, which would exclude seniors from an override in their
community. This is clearly meant to encourage seniors to stay
home, thereby helping overrides pass – at which time the other
burdened taxpayers would have to pick up the seniors’ share of the
new higher taxes.
The circuit breaker legislation is more fair, but because it is an
income tax cut, it cannot qualify as the “property tax relief” that
Governor Patrick promised. We support another income tax cut
contained in H.3162, which gives relief to people who support
elderly parents in their homes and in the long run can save taxpayer
CLT has filed a bill, S.1702, not being heard today, that would help
all taxpayers by limiting the number of overrides to one in any 12
month period; and allowing an underride in all communities, not just
the few that presently have the ability to place a tax cut on local
Long-term, however, the only action that will save our taxpayers and
our communities from fiscal crises is reform of public employee
early retirement, pension and health insurance benefit packages.
We hope the Legislature will have the courage to take on the unions
and address these issues.
Prop 2½ went into effect twenty-six years ago, as of July 1.
We appreciate the ongoing support that the Legislature in general
has shown for Prop 2½, the senior citizens’ best friend, and hope
that you will vote “No” on S.1697 and H.2840.