Tuesday March 19, 2013

The long recession as well as federal funding cuts have left our communities scrambling to maintain essential services including health care, education, roads and bridges, train and bus service, police, firefighters, and emergency workers. There’s no way we can manage as a society without adequate funding for these vital aspects of our communities.

We do not have to sacrifice these services to the ongoing paralysis in Congress. We can safeguard our communities by adding $1.9 billion to state revenue in a way that doesn’t add to the burdens of low- and middle-income taxpayers. We can do this by increasing the state income tax slightly (from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent) while compensating for the increase to low- and middle-income taxpayers by doubling the personal exemption, and lowering the state sales tax, which hits low and middle incomes harder than high incomes, from 6.25 percent to 4.25 percent. These adjustments will ensure that taxpayers who earn less than $60,000 per year will have no increase in their taxes, and may see a decrease.

For information, follow this link: www.mass.gov/governor/
agenda/choose-growth.html and look at all the bridge, road, rail, and pedestrian improvements, as well as support to education, that these tax adjustments will bring to each Berkshire voting district. Our communities need the investment these tax adjustments will bring.


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We don’t have the choice not to invest, to let our roads and bridges crumble and our vital services dwindle away. Our legislators need to know that you support this legislation to invest in our communities, whether you’re low or middle income and will see no increase in your tax bill, or you’re high income and will see a minor increase. Voting for even a small tax increase in upper brackets is not popular. Our legislators won’t support it without our backing.

We’re worth it! Let our legislators know.

ROBERTA RUSSELL

Lenox