Friday, June 1, 2007

Only the Latest Patrick Proposal

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.

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