The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
House of Representatives
State House, Boston, MA 02133-1054




ROOM 124
TEL. (617) 722-2100

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                CONTACT: Sarah Scalese
          April 22, 2010                                           617-722-2100 

Jones’ Response to Chairman’s Memo
A vote against the Minority Leader’s amendment is a vote to increase taxes

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement after reading a memo distributed by the House Ways and Means Chairman.

I want to be very clear: by voting against eliminating Sections 7-9 and Section 12 in the Municipal Relief Bill legislators are supporting a property tax increase of $164.4 million in FY11 - using the Chairman’s own figures. 
Whether those figures are higher will be ultimately determined by the DOR’s decision of what is “reasonable”; but they could go higher. Leaving it up to DOR’s discretion alone is, in my opinion, cause for concern.

While I appreciate the suggestion that the overlay accounts will be walled off or restricted so money cannot be used elsewhere, it is easy to envision future home rule bills seeking to allow overlay account surpluses for a variety of other purposes.

If we set this precedent to exclude overlay accounts from the levy limit, it is easy to foresee additional proposals to exclude any number of items from the levy limit. This will be become the classic thin end of the wedge.

The way this is structured and the way municipal tax rates are set, taxpayers will be hit with virtually the entire increase in their third and fourth quarter payments. I would respectfully urge each of you to help keep the Speaker’s recent promise of no tax increases by supporting Amendment #48.

We must eliminate this tax increase which will hurt thousands of our citizens who are barely hanging on in this very difficult economic climate.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
General Court
State House, Boston, MA 02133-1054

(617) 722-1206


(617) 722-2100


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        CONTACT: Sarah Scalese
          April 22, 2010                                                                  617-722-2100  

GOP Leaders: Taxpayers Can’t Afford To Pay Any More
Vow to fight tooth and nail against any proposal to raise property taxes

Boston - Citing the poor economy and the already high tax burden, House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. and Senate Minority Leader Richard R. Tisei today vowed to fight against any legislative proposal that would allow cities and towns to raise property taxes on the people of Massachusetts.

This comes after learning that the House Ways and Means Committee proposed allowing municipalities to raise property taxes outside of the constraints of the so-called “proposition 2½ limits” without a local vote.

Given the negative economic climate in Massachusetts, the top Republicans in the House and Senate were outraged to hear that a legislator could be so disconnected to think taxpayers could afford to pay another dollar in property taxes.

“It’s simply mind-boggling that in a time when foreclosure initiations spiked more than 20% from last month, a Democratic lawmaker on Beacon Hill could have the audacity to suggest raising taxes, yet again,” said Representative Jones. “If this isn’t a slap in the face to the taxpayers, I don’t know what is,” the House Republican Leader added.

On Monday, the Massachusetts House of Representatives will take up a Municipal Relief Bill, which contains the proposal. Representative Jones has already filed an amendment that would strike out the language permitting the increase of property taxes absent an override vote.

Citizens for Limited Taxation estimates that property owners could see as much as $550 million in additional property taxes if the proposal is adopted during Monday’s debate.

“This is just another glaring example of one-party rule run amok on Beacon Hill,” said Senator Tisei. “The Governor and the Democratic leadership have raised taxes by more than a billion dollars over the last two fiscal years, driving the Commonwealth’s economy further into the ground. Adding to that burden will only further hurt the state’s competitiveness and tug at the purse strings of hardworking families across the state.”

Republican lawmakers in both the House and Senate have offered hundreds of millions of dollars in cost saving initiatives over the last three budget cycles and they plan to do the same this year as well.

Citizens for Limited Taxation    PO Box 1147    Marblehead, MA 01945    508-915-3665