Thursday, October 29, 2020

Voices of Franklin: James Gianotti Jr - "Just say NO to Question 3"

Who would honestly ask for more taxes in the middle of a pandemic?

Your Franklin's governing body would. It’s much more than just not right its downright shameful to be asking citizens at this time for more money. We all know someone in your family or your friends that are going through what might be the toughest times of their lives and having big challenges with their day-to-day bills. Massachusetts has the highest unemployment in the country and businesses are closing every day. What’s even worse there is no end in sight.

With that I am opposing the CPA for a few reasons. Remember, the CPA can only fund four kinds of things - historic preservation, affordable housing, open space, and parks and recreation projects.  These are all nice to have, but we need to focus on our MUST have list right now – namely schools, police, and fire departments and have compassion for our fellow citizens who don’t know when their next paycheck is coming, Lets also not forget, in addition, to talk about an override vote “soon” to raise town taxes, we are also facing increases to water and sewer costs and a completely new tax (cleverly described as a utility) to fund federally mandated stormwater treatment and mitigation – expected to total something like $50 million dollars over the next several years.

CPA is about “pet projects” not these critical projects that we absolutely must do.

In addition, CPA proponents consistently rely on the most optimistic estimate of how much funding the state will chip in.  Given the condition of the state’s budget and the state, this is probably going to be way off.

So, if we pass CPA, we will be stuck with an additional burden, one that will hit many people when they can least afford it. Consider the example of a couple where both wage earners have been laid off. Maybe they need to downsize and hope the equity they have achieved in their home over the last few years will help them through. Guess what? That’s when CPA will hit them, to the tune of thousands of dollars!  That’s what’s called a hidden tax. You vote for it because it won’t affect you right away, but when it does, it’s a big hit!

Our town is economically diverse. While there may be some families that can easily afford CPA, for most, it could be devastating. Above all, 2020 is not the year to be gold plating town spending and hitting those who can least afford it.

I ask you all to have some compassion for those currently and those that will be fighting for their American Dream during the pandemic.

Just say NO to Question 3

James Gianotti Jr. 

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