CLT would be very
concerned about Gov. Patrick’s latest proposal for free
(i.e., taxpayer-funded) two-year state college tuition and
universal pre-school, if we thought he’d ever actually do
it. But we are
still waiting for his promised property tax relief.
In fact, we are still waiting for his actual plan,
showing exactly how raising local option taxes would cut the
average taxpayers’ bill.
So far, by our
count, Massachusetts citizens (and in the case of free
education, probably non-citizens as well – did anyone ask
him if this new freebie would apply to illegal immigrants?)
have been offered a dubious 24% property tax cut, the
elimination of fees for local school activities, public
employee pension and health insurance reform, full-day
kindergarten, 1,000 new cops on the street, a new train to
the South Coast, repair of a crumbling state highway system
including Storrow Drive, sewer connections, $7oo million
found from "health care waste," new jobs, environmental
initiatives, a $1 billion biotech program, and, of course,
more transparent budgets and "fiscal restraint."
So far, we’ve seen
nothing beyond campaign promises followed by announcements
and proclamations – a dreamer’s wish-list.
We are not concerned
about government-run "cradle to career" education because
the Legislature, while often irresponsible, isn’t crazy;
most of its members live in the real world where idealistic
proposals actually have to be implemented and paid for.
We do continue to
hope for the campaign-promised property tax cut and real
public employee benefits reform, the primary cause for the
ceaselessly rising property tax burden.