LETTER: Town Meeting Member Against Zero Increase in Taxes

Chasan: Zero increase in taxes next year, means $2.4 million in cuts to the schools.

Some are advocating zero increase in taxes next year, which means $2.4 million in cuts to the schools.  

I say to them: what do you want to cut? Lay off teachers and increase class size?

Most classes are at their limits right now.

I say no.

That’s not much compared to the $575 increase this year.  

The average increase over the last 12 years has been $214  

, but next year it will be $70 below average.  It’s the pendulum swinging. Some years it is above average, some years it is below.  

It’s the difference between improving the schools or dismantling the schools.  What do you want?

Herb Chasan

Town Meeting member, Precinct 4

Robert Hyzen April 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Why not sign over our whole paycheck to the town of Framingham. What about all of the snow plowing monies that were never used? Where is all of that?
Walt Magee April 15, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Typical Liberal ploy. Not increasing taxes is a tax cut. Right? In what economics book did you get that wacky idea. Bill Clinton? Barak Obama? Lenin? Mao? Where? Walt Magee
Walt Magee April 15, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Herb check the box on your tax form to contribute more but don't check it on mine; I pay too much already.
Kim Poness April 15, 2012 at 05:12 PM
With all due respect, Herb, I have read the warrant articles and background material cover to cover, and nowhere do I see evidence that without a tax increase, the school budget be cut at all, let alone by 2.4 million dollars. In fact, the only difference between the CFO recommended budget and the BOS recommended budget is that the result of the tax reduction in the latter means that 1.5million will not be set aside "to pay down the the Town's unfunded future health insurance liability". Nothing about the schools. I also find it interesting to note that school department budget is increasing by over five million dollars over FY12. The Historical enrollment data is also incredibly interesting - year over year enrollment from 2010/2011 saw a decrease of 76 students, while 2011/2012 saw only a 45 student increase - across all grades. If I hadn't read the budget and enrollment numbers, I woiuld have believed the rhetoric suggesting that we are slashing school budgets to the bone while enrollment was increasing by double digits. If I'm misreading everything I'm seeing, please correct me.
Alan Kawadler April 15, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Below average tax increases are not the same as no tax increase. No tax increase means that property owners with limited incomes can afford to pay their mortgage, put food on the table and pay water and utility bills. The author has provided no alternatives for those that cannot afford a tax increase to opt out of subsidizing the school systems increased costs.
Joe Rizoli April 16, 2012 at 07:14 AM
According to Herb the only thing in the town to him are our schools. Just because Herb maybe living confortably doesn't mean everyone else is. EVERY department including schools needs to be financially responsible. Can't wait when full time kindergarten comes into play. A real good chance you will see the real cost of bilingual education and the "change" literally and monatarily that will cost the town. Joe Rizoli
John Sullivan April 16, 2012 at 10:37 AM
Joe - Taxes don't just go to schools. They pay for everything in town. Trash pick-up. Fire. Everything. Full-time kindergarten is a non-issue. It is already offered in most of the surrounding towns, and after a 1 year up front cost most of the money gets reimbursed by the state through chapter 70. By not-offering it, the kids who need that early start are more likely to require extra services later on, and that is what will cost the big buck$. $144 extra a year works out to less than 40 cents a day. You don't have to be "living comfortably" to recognize that is a good return on your investment. Just skip that donut and coffee once in a while and you can keep the TOWN (not just the schools) running strong. Yes every department needs to be financially responsible, but I've seen no evidence provided that this is not the case. (And I mean evidence, not just wild accusations about stuff.) If the same expectation of financial responsibility is expected of the residents of this town, then asking for an increase that works out to less than 40 cents a day is not unreasonable. To all those who say they can't afford that, if you are living so close to the edge that an extra 40 cents puts you over, there are bigger issues than your taxes that you need to address.
Kim Poness April 16, 2012 at 12:13 PM
@John - unfortunately, there ARE some elderly widows in my precinct, in my neighborhood, who are in the position of having to cut back their food budget to cover the (albeit modest) increase in their taxes. When you factor in the rising cost of food, gasoline, and heating oil, the burden for some folks is actually quite real, and for the elderly on a fixed income, often there is no way to either cut back or increase income.
Herb Chasan April 16, 2012 at 01:44 PM
To see back up for my numbers, go to : http://www.framinghamma.gov/Weblink8/Browse.aspx?startid=19355&row=1&dbid=0 and click on FY13 Recommended budget to selectmen Herb Chasan
Kim Poness April 16, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Thanks for that, Herb. When I get home from work (or perhaps at lunchtime), I'll see how that compares to the budget in the warrant.
Kim Poness April 16, 2012 at 02:27 PM
@Herb - okay, NOW I see it. The budget adjustment recommendations for 0% tax increase. Thank you again for that, though it isn't one of the final budget proposals.
John Sullivan April 16, 2012 at 03:41 PM
@Kim - The elderly residents you describe should benefit from the $500 cut recently approved by town meeting. Times are tough for many in town, not just elderly, and costs of our expenses rise just like those expenses in the town and schools are rising. The amount being proposed (0.40 cents/day) in the scheme of things seems like a reasonable request.
Kim Poness April 16, 2012 at 04:01 PM
@John - I understand what you're saying, and to me personally, 40 cents a day really isn't that big a deal. Nor is the modest increase in my real estates taxes (living where I do can have some unexpected advantages LOL). That said, the $500 "cut" for seniors has been in play for quite a few years now. The only thing town meeting voted to do was to raise the income and asset limit. I'm not saying that I think a zero tax increase is the way to go, nor am I saying that 2.5% is the way to go. At this point, I'm just trying to cut through the rhetoric by comparing what is being said to what is actually IN the budget, then taking all of that and finding out what the folks in my district think. As I said, I'm used to seeing budgets laid out in a very particular way, with year over year comparisons, etc., and I'm not really seeing that in the warrant. Then again, maybe I'm just taking it all too seriously?
John Sullivan April 16, 2012 at 04:17 PM
It is good that you are taking it seriously!! You are correct in that I shouldn't have characterized the senior discount expansion as a "cut", although hopefully it is covering more of the seniors you describe. I think it is important to note that historically, 2.5% increase generally occurs, and even that is often not enough to cover increased costs. If we feel we are in times of plenty and everything is great, then of course, don't increase anything. But if we are not satisfied with the direction our town and schools are going in, and PART of the problem is limited funds to do things, then I think we need to put things in perspective. We don't want to be penny wise but pound foolish as they say!
Alan Kawadler April 16, 2012 at 05:42 PM
@John Sullivan. The $500 tax cut you describe by the town is akin to the grand inquisition. Everything is included except a strip search. Non citizen welfare recipients do not have to provide the level of detail that the Town is asking for to qualify.
Joe Rizoli April 16, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Obviously some here need some education on the future of Framingham as to it's "immigrants" Apparently we have a part of the crowd that want to stick its head in the ground and then ten years later say "what happened?" I'm trying to stop the ground from receiving the head in the first place. As to the forty cents a day. Yes its not much but it's also added to the big hike our house taxes from $3600 to $4200. The problem s these low cents figures will keep adding up. I belong to the crowd that looks for coffee at a dollar. Sorry but that's the way it is. It all adds up if its done every day.A dollar vs $2.50 seems a better deal. This town is reaping what it has sown. The town is now soaking up the many spills put upon us, some legally some illegally. People don't listen to us so sleep in the bed. The town recently gave a license to open for the Los Comparderes,now Isla. NOTHING was mentioned about security. Last time the place was there they had over TEN security people. TEN!!! I don't think the biggest clubs in Boston have that number.They still had problems. It is going to be a Illegal alien watering hole. It was specifically said it was going to have a Colombian night, Mayday and Brazilian night. Great, all socialist anti-American and probably ILLEGAL customers. Where is the License checker for that one? People just don't listen. Good luck with the parking. The lot across the street is PRIVATE. Nothing was said about that issue. Joe Rizoli
David Nolta April 17, 2012 at 12:57 AM
YES! to Education!


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