Four Major Challenges

Four Challenges

Taxes: Would you like to know how taxes are spent and what we get for our money?

  1. Residents should know how tax money is used and what it achieves.
  1. Government needs to tell more than how much it spends. Government needs to tell what that spending will accomplish, and why that spending and accomplishment are important.
  1. Before we raise taxes, we should be sure that we’ve controlled our costs, managed our resources, and developed clear plans for the future revenues.

Funding: Will there ever be enough funding for everything we want and need?

¨        We probably can’t get all the funding we need for everything at once.

¨        We have to set priorities, and we have to make choices

¨        We need to start now to have revenue sources for the future

 

  1. In 1995, about 30% of our city’s revenues came from commercial and industrial property tax, and about 70% came from residential tax. Today, the portion that comes from residential taxes is almost 80%:
    1. We keep shifting the tax burden to homeowners
    2. We can change that by developing more commerce and sustainable industry
    3. We will never have sufficient funds if we depend on residential property tax
  1. As we work hard to provide affordable housing, while at the same time larger and more expensive homes dominate the city, we are squeezing middle-income earners and those on fixed incomes.
  1. We must set priorities, we must select projects and actions and programs carefully, and we must have long-term plans that allow us to get to things as we can afford.
  1. We need a long-term action for developing new revenues; luck, accident, and dependency on state or federal funds are not good substitutes.
  1. We need to start implementing a successful strategy now.

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Paid for by
The Committee to Elect Rick Feldman
Carolyn Mazel, Treasurer
31 Olive Street, Northampton, MA