Thanks to our Laselle College intern Brittanie for a thoughtful argument for why you should vote NO on Question 3 next Tuesday:
Ballot question 3 is asking that we lower the Massachusetts sales tax from 6.25% to 3%. Homes For Families is again asking that you join us in answering NO. The impact that this cut could have on our society is much bigger than it looks at face value. We all would love to spend a little less money at the point of sale, but would we all still love that if we really understood what this meant for our everyday life. 3% seems like a low manageable number, but in actuality, a 3% cut means a $2.5 billion cut to revenues. 3% eventually means 50% less spending on 1,900 public schools in our state. Ultimately; 3% sales tax has a bigger impact on our everyday lives than one would think.
If question 3 is indeed passed, State leaders will face a $4.5 billion dollar cut to the fiscal budget, which includes the $2 billion deficits that we are already facing for FY2012 in addition to the $2.5 billion if question 3 is passed. In addition, half of the state’s budget is legally dedicated to specific programs, meaning losses can only be taken from the remaining half known as the discretionary budget. Thus, human services, housing, local aid, schools, etc. will experience greater funding cuts. It will result in layoffs of our teachers, fire fighters, police officers, and social workers. This is the last thing we need in the time of this recession. It will also force cities to raise property taxes as the estimated school and local aid cuts for the city of Boston alone are $48,569,776. Please join Homes For Families in voting NO for Ballot question number 3. We are fighting for more money in the budget to assist families; voting yes would be doing the direct opposite.