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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

We Won Defeated the Neighborhood Tax!

Chip Ford's CLT Commentary

WE WON we defeated the Community Benefit Districts tax!

Yesterday I had a long-awaited appointment with the dentist to put in a new crown.  The appointment was at 12:15, and the House was scheduled to gavel in its final session of the year at noon.  I considered rescheduling my appointment but really was looking forward to chewing again, so instead arrived at the dentist early, at 11:30, hoping they could take me sooner.  At 12:30 I was still sitting in the waiting room feeling a mounting anxiety.  I was told an "emergency" had come in, that the doctor would be with me as soon as possible.

I told the receptionist I had to reschedule.  I felt like the commander in a great war, my infantry are in full assault across the enemy lines, the battle has begun to rage I can't tell the troops I'm back here behind the lines waiting on the dentist, go ahead without me, I'll catch up with you later."  I walked out, will return later today.

Back at my office, I watched the House session until 1:15 AM last night, making calls, exchanging e-mails.  When the House recessed at 1:12 AM this morning I still didn't know whether or not the Community Benefit Districts amendment was included in the economic development bill that passed on a vote of 151-0 at 12:25 AM last night!When I awoke and got back to my desk at 7:00 this morning, nothing anywhere reported whether it was included or not — who won, who lost.

I made some phone calls when I thought others in the know might be awake, just now got confirmation from Bob Katzen at Beacon Hill Roll Call that our opposition was victorious that we beat back the inevitable, miraculously turned around a May vote of 149-2 and won the war for the taxpayers.  He thought it was a truly amazing, an almost unbelievable victory.  Bob agreed it likely succeeded due to the left/right coalition we put together, and the pressure we quickly assembled and brought to bear on legislators.

While it didn't pass last night, Bob Katzen noted that it is still alive as a standalone bill passed by the House and Senate and awaiting just enactment.  That could come up at any time in the next five months during the Legislature's ongoing "informal" sessions.  But during low-attendance informal sessions all it takes is one vote in opposition to stop it.  This will require vigilance from our allies in the Legislature.

I gave every-damn-thing I had to win this battle.  I wanted so much for CLT to go out with one more big victory for all the taxpayers of Massachusetts.

So often over the decades what CLT has succeeded at, with little if any recognition or fanfare, is the bad things it has managed to prevent.

It paid off, it happened again, and I am thrilled.  I expect it will be our final gift to all the taxpayers of the commonwealth, whether recognized and appreciated or not.

Great job Team CLT it wouldn't have happened without your calls and e-mails to your legislators.

Chip Ford
Executive Director

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