Importance of state taxes

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Thank you, Senator Rosenberg and Chris Dempsey for your article about transportation in Massachusetts. I have been waiting for years to see the promise of frequent rail service from Greenfield to Springfield and Boston fulfilled. Here in Colrain, we have been waiting for years to have the Heath Road bridge replaced and now the Brook Road bridge, on an emergency route from here to Greenfield, is out, too. As you mention, the delay in repairs costs everyone more in time and miles, and costs the towns and school districts in that regular school buses and fire trucks can’t navigate the detours.

One thing you mention that could be elaborated on is funding. Until the voters of our commonwealth recognize that paying for investments in infrastructure through taxes will pay off in the long run, we will be hobbling along for years getting nothing done. In years past, the legislature has responsibly raised income taxes and the gas tax, and both times the voters reversed that decision. The “millionaires’ tax,” if it passes, will help some, but the backlog of funding needs for roads, railroads and schools will need more than that will cover.

Voters need to realize that paying state taxes helps reduce local taxes and provides services that we all need. Government needs to make a very clear connection between those taxes and the services the people want and need.

Joe Kurland