Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Good, Bad and Ugly

The Good news.... sort of. Our property taxes will go down by a few bucks in 2010, the bad news, our property values will decrease in value by 11 to 14% according to the Towns CFO.

The good news, Pike Chief LeBovidge resigns, the bad news, next in command will fair not much better in getting the needed reforms enacted and tolls will probably go up to those outrageous numbers we heard about months ago in a month or so.

The bad news, Tax revenues fell even more in April, 35% less than last year, 456 million less. This means the legislature may raid the entire rainy day fund just to get us even this year by July 1. The good news, Senator Spilka said there will be layoffs and all agencies will have to tighten their belts. She may now be getting it,or does she. One Senator has proposed transportation and other reforms could help bridge the gap, but Senator Spilka has said, "the gap is far to big to close through that route alone". The Ugly.... Towns will not be getting the local aid they thought they were getting.

More bad news comes from a 14 member State House panel put together to look for new sources of revenue. Which may be bad news for those who buy satellite TV, which will be taxed at the new proposed sales tax oc 6.25%. They also suggest allowing cities to double the lodging tax to a max of 8%, raising the meals tax to an additional 2 to 5% and lifting the property tax exemption on telecommunication poles. And the hits keep coming, they propose increasing the inspection fee, now at $29, by $6, to pay for police recruit training and state police training.

The good news, Senate President Murray left for Ireland for a week last night. The bad news is the fiscal and moral crises we are in will have to wait for her to get back. The ugly truth is, we are in deep trouble and the State House is scrambling to come up with answers. And while we all wonder what the Deval is doing, we learn today, Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei (R-Wakefield) said an amendment targeting Patrick’s Seventy-First Fund as part of the Senate’s ethics reforms is gaining support.

“The governor said he was going to change the way business was being done on Beacon Hill, but he’s been masterful at taking advantage of loopholes and circumventing the law to make a mockery of our campaign finance system,” said Tisei.

The fund, named because Patrick is the 71st governor, raises money for the governor and the state Democratic party, allowing contributors to give a maximum $5,500 - 11 times the limit for typical campaign accounts per year.

Much of the money sent to the state party is then used to pay off Patrick’s campaign bills. Tisei’s amendment would limit donations to $3,500 annually.

Tisei plans to file other amendments aimed at highlighting Patrick’s ethical missteps, including:

Banning former state employees who have begun collecting their pensions from being re-hired, such as Transportation Secretary James Aloisi.

Reversing a 2007 law written by Patrick allowing Governor’s Council members to appear as attorneys in front of judges they might have confirmed.

And as we all know, all of the Republican Party amendments have gotten no where and I'll bet, this one goes down in flames. And while no one from either party has suggested this, unless the salaries are cut deeply for our elected officials, none of us will ever buy into more tax increases.


At May 7, 2009 at 10:22 AM , Blogger Tim W. said...

The more we hear about Patrick the less he sounds like the man he claimed to be. I am a democrat, but I applaud the republican senate minority leader for his stand against Patrick’s shenanigans. And it is time for the democrats who are ethical to also stand against the Governor’s behavior. We have to remember that being a democrat does not require that you be corrupt, unethical, or stupid, although you would not know that be the actions of the democrats currently in the state house. I will not judge the character of our sitting Governor, but I will judge his actions in the areas you mention on this blog this morning as being unpardonable. We can no sit by and allow this type of behavior to go unchallenged. If it means I have to support the actions of a republican, than I am willing to do that to clean up the mess! I hope others will do the same. And I applaud Mr. Pillsbury for getting this information out there.

At May 7, 2009 at 2:34 PM , Blogger Old Blogger said...

Patrick has lost all credibility in this state. Now he has also lost his fall guy at the Turnpike Authority. No one is going to want to take on that job now, so Patrick will have to entice someone to take that on for the short term since it will be an abolished position soon. That means he will try to appoint some political crony of his, not necessarily anyone that will be any good at the job. Watch this unfold. Someone will get the job, be paid a whopping salary of around $160,000, and then retire using that salary as part of the basis for their pension pay. This is going to be ugly, wait and see. It appears that Patrick knows he has no chance of getting re-elected, so he figures he might as well do what he wants until his term as Governor is over.

At May 7, 2009 at 3:14 PM , Blogger Help said...

Blah blah blah blah blah. They all say the same thing, and it all amounts to nothing useful. How can they be surprised by the budget shortfall? If that is true, they must owe everyone and their brother on their own household budget! But maybe not, when they need more money to pay their bills at home, they don’t have to cut corners like the rest of us, just give themselves a raise. Sort of like what they do with the state budget, they don’t want to cut certain things for political reasons, so they just find a way to get more money out of our pockets. Who are the idiots here, the people who are making the mess and reaching in our pockets to pay for us, or those of us who keep electing these people? Must have been too much for Murray to take, she is off to Ireland to escape all the pressures. Is it safe to ask, who is paying for that trip, some PAC group or lobbyist, you and I, or is she paying for it out of her own pocket. Want to bet on that?

At May 7, 2009 at 4:58 PM , Blogger Rich said...

We need some dramatic change in the decision making process at the state house. I thought the Governor would straighten out the legislators, and I thought DeMassi leaving would make things better. Guess it is pretty clear I was wrong. But I just don’t see how we fix this. We are stuck until the next election cycle, and at this rate, but then MA will be in bankruptcy and bought by New Hampshire for pennies on the dollar. Maybe that would be a good thing. But we are all going to pay a high price in taxes and tolls and any other revenue producing method they can come up with before that transfer of ownership ever happens. This is just plain ridiculous to watch unfold.

At May 7, 2009 at 5:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time to impeach the Governor, and all the unethical reps along with him.


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