Boston Globe: Sen. Eldridge Makes the Case for Graduated MA Income Taxes

Excerpted from the Boston Globe.


JamieEldridge.jpgShould the state adopt a graduated income tax?

Yes 

State senator James Eldridge, an Acton Democrat

Last week, I filed a constitutional amendment to create a graduated, or progressive income tax that would allow us to invest in our communities to ensure a quality public education for every child in Massachusetts, improve our transportation infrastructure, provide police and fire protection to keep our neighborhoods safe, and enhance public and individual health.

Unfortunately, our current tax system is not doing that. Local aid has been cut 40 percent compared to a decade ago, our state has hundreds of roads and bridges in disrepair while our public transportation system ages, many police and fire departments have laid off staff, and hospitals and medical clinics continue to close across the state.

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Can We Talk About Real Revenue Reform Now?

pothole.jpgOn November 4, Massachusetts voted to defund road and bridge repair, by eliminating the 'indexing' on the gas tax, part of the flawed and inadequate "Transportation Funding Package" passed in Spring 2013. Jim Aloisi rightly points out in the Boston Globe that this is an opportunity to go back to the drawing board and get transportation funding right this time: 

ON ITS FACE, last Tuesday was a bleak day for anyone who rides a train or a bus around Boston. Massachusetts voters overturned a new law that would have ratcheted up the state’s gas tax at regular intervals, and they installed in the governor’s office Charlie Baker, who doesn’t want to backfill the hole the gas tax repeal will leave behind. This should be a recipe for more broken trains, fewer buses, shoddier transit service, and ever-worsening traffic in and around Boston.

But it’s also a blessing in disguise. The gas tax repeal took the stuffing out of a weak transportation finance package that the Legislature enacted last year.

Beacon Hill now has a chance to take a second run at the issue, and get it right this time. 

We agree -- and believe now is the time to revisit the fundamental questions of the 2012-2013 "Our Communities" campaign, not just for transportation infrastructure (which is fundamentally important) but for all the services and infrastructure that make our Commonwealth communities great places to live and work. 
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Boston Mobilization on Progressive Revenue

Boston Mobilization was founded in 1977 as part of a national movement for workers rights and smart green energy. Since then we have taken leadership and support roles in a wide variety of social justice campaigns. Their work continues to be developing the next generation of social justice leaders, through our powerful trainings, our community organizing campaign work, our mentorship of young leaders and our transformational youth program –Sub/Urban Justice. This blog post is written by two teens in the program, Owen Weitzman and Christopher DesAnges, after their summer. Thank you!


youth_in_action.jpgThis summer, Sub/Urban Justice has been working on empowering youth with regards to progressive revenue. The Sub/Urban Justice Fellowship has followed in Boston Mobilization’s tradition of grassroots organizing by facilitating trainings for teen groups on the state budget, progressive revenue, and how to meet with legislators to hold them accountable to the funding needs of youth and all Massachusetts residents. Over the summer we led 22 trainings, educating more than 400 teens from Boston and Cambridge, as well as a handful from around the country.

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