Saturday, September 27, 2008

The NY Times Comes to Grafton

Both Train Rider and I have ties to the town of Grafton. Needless to say, I nearly died when I saw the Grafton, MA dateline in this article published in today's The New York Times. The article focused on the Question 1 Ballot initiative to repel the state's income tax. A number of area residents along with State Senator George Peterson (R-Grafton) and Grafton Town Selectman Brooke Padgett were interviewed.

While I do not like to see wasteful things happen with my hard-earned tax dollars, I am opposed to Question 1. I do not want to see funding in our state reliant on property taxes. I would rather pay a consistent tax then see my property taxes fluctuate to support my town's services. Not to mention, our state's already tapped transportation infrastructure will be hard hit if this Ballot Initiative passes.

Since we fortunately live in a democracy, you can read about why some people want Question 1 to pass. Although, in really thinking a bout New Hampshire, I don't see a whole lot of companies opening up shop up there. If anything, it seems like a lot of people live in NH but work in Massachusetts.

Honestly, I really do not dig ballot initiatives. We live in a state with a full-time legislature. They should be working out these issues.

1 comment:

Evan Ravitz said...

Legislatures SHOULD do their jobs but often don't. That's why we need initiatives as a "Plan B."

Ballot initiatives are the origin of most reforms, such as women's suffrage (passed in 13 states before Congress went along), direct election of Senators (4 states), publicly financed elections (passed by initiative in 6 of 7 states with them), medical marijuana ( in 8 of 13 states) and increasing minimum wages (in all 6 states that tried in 2006). See for more examples and references. The media have seized on the problem initiatives. They generally kiss up to politicians.

Voters on initiatives need what legislators get: public hearings, expert testimony, amendments, reports, etc. The best project for such deliberative process is the National Initiative for Democracy, led by former Sen. Mike Gravel: Also and