Thursday, April 22, 2010

GOP Leaders: Taxpayers can’t afford to pay anymore

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.