Newton property tax override

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Geoff Epstein. Show Geoff Epstein's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    thoughtsfromnewton might help by putting together some numbers to back the criticism.

    Enumerate the mistakes, incompetence and dishonesty.

    Data-driven criticism can be helpful. General rhetoric is not.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from MaggieOHooligan. Show MaggieOHooligan's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    I have voted against other overrides but may support this one, in part, because the Cty can show evidence they've successfully eliminated $200m in waste. 

    I need to get over the $197M high school cost but it's hard for me to have confidence in this administration and the alderman.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from brycecam. Show brycecam's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    Quite possibly the Worst roads I have driven on in the state. One thing is for sure anyone driving on Highland Ave best buckle up unless you want to be tossed through your sunroof upon hitting yet another crater on that excuse for a road. No doubt about it, the roads are a horror show, but isn't that what excise tax is for? 

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from TheDriverInNoir. Show TheDriverInNoir's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    Be wary of how the arguments are shaped by the proponents of this over-ride. They like to use wishy-washy, highly-subjective terms like "value". A few would even try to convince you that this increase in your taxes is in reality an "investment". But most parents and politicians who supprt this hike are using the familiar plea of "our kids".

     

    Apply this to them. Where is the "value" in redundancy, waste, inefficiency and bloated liabilities? Where are the returns from the "investment" taxpayers made over the years to similiar promises of infrastructure projects? Where are the positive role models for "our kids" to demonstrate the importance of responsibility, transparency and accountability?

     

    It doesnt' matter to pro-tax hike groups because it's all about them--a one way topic where if taxpayers don't agree to raises, the world will come to end.

     

    Wake up. Government is granted trust by the taxpayers to manage the fiscal affairs of the City in a prudent and responsible manner. Do you honesty get the sense anyone in Comm Ave is even trying? Absolutely not. They just casually toss around words like "value" if they want a blank check to expand the size and scope of their budgets.

     

    I implore you to Vote No because City Hall is out of control, dishonest, irresponsible, arrogant and filled with over-paid bureaucrats who contribute next to nothing to the polis.

     

     

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from PragmaticAmerican. Show PragmaticAmerican's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    This is why I departed Newton upon graduating HS - as a governmental entity, they have always been more than a bit "free" with other people's money.  A well-managed and orderly city, yes, but enough with the constant hits on the average guy's hard-earned income.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Geoff Epstein. Show Geoff Epstein's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    I think that when criticisms are made, such as the city not meeting recommendations in management letters, it would be very helpful if more detail could be provided by the critic.

    What are the recommendations? What should have been done? 

    One can also talk about mistakes, incompetence and dishonesty but it does not mean much unless the specifics are set forth. Then we can have a sound discussion.

     
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  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from TheDriverInNoir. Show TheDriverInNoir's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    The first thing anyone should do is to know and understand the crux of the issue. It's not about Infrastructure or School Buildings. It's about prudent governance. Start with this as a mission statement and civic principle and be objective and transparent about the budget.

    Identify the holes and leaks. If a certain Department is excessively over-staffed and over-paid relative to neighboring towns, take a chain saw to them and spare the taxpayers the agony of supporting a bureaucrat's interpretaion of a good society.


    Next, prioritize and accept that compromises have to be made. In short, ambitious projects may have to be scaled down due to costs and dissent. If new this or that is trumps everything else in the budget, cut something else in the City to pay for it.

     

    Sell off securities and other assets contained in the CAFR. City Executives are speculating on the market without the approval or consent of the taxpayers. The money belongs to the taxpayers and therefore, we have a right to determine where surplus money should be allocated. In this case, be crystal clear with the real time market value of the portfolio in the next public meeting or even better, create a link on the City Hall site to the fluctations.

     

    An over-ride should be avoided. Expanding the size of the budget in a lousy Economy is an irresponsible way to manage the City. It's a violation of trust and moreover, a loss of confidence. This is not the way private businesses, investors or families manage their finances. And this is why everyone should Vote No.

     

     

     

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from GT180. Show GT180's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    I'm voting NO on all three.  Taxes are the opiate of government.  The reports linked to above that outline no progress in certain areas of fiscal responsibility over quite a long period of time show that Newton isn't yet fully trustable with additional funding from citizens.

    The tax burden is increasing in all 3 phases of government, city, state and federal.  I would vote no on all of it if possible, but only the city taxes can be voted on , so I must exercise my rights there.  Sorry, Setti, keep cleaning house and fixing the city's inefficiencies and I'm sure I'll get to Yes later down the line.  You're a decent mayor, but a GREAT mayor wouldn't put this kind of burden on citizens in such a horrible economy.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from TrinityA. Show TrinityA's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    I'm not from Newton. I've always liked that City and used to think it would be nice to live there. It seems that in recent years Newton is in the process of losing its mind.The place is not so attractive anymore.

     
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  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from tiredofyourbs. Show tiredofyourbs's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    My kid attends one of these dump schools.  We need the override to fix these places.  They're pathetic.  Those opposed to the override should go to the Newton public schols site to watch the video of the physical condition of these schools.

    Appreciate the lack of confidence in the city.  I share that perspective.  But those opposed to the override probably haven't seen what the shockingly bad physical conditions for grade school children.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from thoughtsfromnewton. Show thoughtsfromnewton's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    In response to Geoff Epstein's comment:

     

    thoughtsfromnewton might help by putting together some numbers to back the criticism.

    Enumerate the mistakes, incompetence and dishonesty.

    Data-driven criticism can be helpful. General rhetoric is not.

     



    Have you read the management letters yet? The data and the criticism (and documentation of slow response to feedback) are in the letters.

     

    Go to the Comptroller's site at http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/comptroller/audrep.asp

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from ccloutier. Show ccloutier's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    In response to ddsuburbs' comment:

    Newton residents will vote March 12 on a requested $11.4 million in tax increases for schools, streets, and public safety. Do you support or oppose the proposed Newton property tax override, and why?

    If you are having difficulty posting on this forum, please leave your comments on this discussion thread.

     

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from CalmView. Show CalmView's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    We definitely need these overrides.  Unlike most other communities Newton has only passed one override ever and it's really showing.  Our roads, schools, and fire stations are literally falling apart.  We owe it to our community to pitch in and pay for the buildings and roads we need, and pay for more teachers so our class sizes won't go up as our enrollment goes up.  Naysayers will claim the money isn't needed but they won't give specifics about where we can come up with the millions needed other than asking our teachers to take pay cuts.  It's just wishful thinking on their part that the city doesn't need more money.  Our tax rate is actually lower than many surrounding communities.  I attended one of the city's public forums about the override and found it very helpful in making up my mind.  There is also plenty of information on-line through the city's website for anyone who wants to sift through the data.  I trust this Mayor who has shown he can operate a budget efficiently but needs more capital to pay for the big student enrollment increase and the backlog of road and building needs.  I'm voting Yes 3 times on March 12 and encourage everyone to do the same to get Newton back on track.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from MovingNewtonForward. Show MovingNewtonForward's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    In response to MaggieOHooligan's comment:

    I have voted against other overrides but may support this one, in part, because the Cty can show evidence they've successfully eliminated $200m in waste. 

    I need to get over the $197M high school cost but it's hard for me to have confidence in this administration and the alderman.



    Maggie, if the city has eliminated $200M in waste, it would not need an override.  

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from TheDriverInNoir. Show TheDriverInNoir's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    An over-ride is on the table because the City failed in its duty to proper manage the Budget. Budgets are merely "proposals". Given the history and age of Newton, there should have been enough wiggle room in the Budgets to allow for higher-than-expected costs in projects and moreover, very poor leadership in terms of priorities.

     

    The most absurd aspect of this over-ride debate is that it's just assumed the City needs the money to complete a series of projects. In realiy, the City has the money but they're not telling you this. It's listed in the CAFR.

     

    So not only are the leaders in the City irresponsible for mismanaging Budget priorities (expensive high school instead of addressing other pressing needs), they are not even honest about our financial condition.

     

    Vote No and Vote Out the incumbents responsible for this mess. And it is a mess.

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from MovingNewtonForward. Show MovingNewtonForward's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    In response to tiredofyourbs' comment:

     

    My kid attends one of these dump schools.  We need the override to fix these places.  They're pathetic.  Those opposed to the override should go to the Newton public schols site to watch the video of the physical condition of these schools.

    Appreciate the lack of confidence in the city.  I share that perspective.  But those opposed to the override probably haven't seen what the shockingly bad physical conditions for grade school children.

     



    Union contracts for Newton Public Schools employees are expiring in August 2014.  If the teachers were willing to accept a pay freeze in the first two years of the new contracts, the city could afford to pay for the new educational spending programs sought by the supporters of the override tax hikes without cutting jobs, without cutting pay and without overriding Proposition 2.5.

     

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from David953a. Show David953a's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

     

     

    If we do not agree to raise taxes, city officials will throw our teachers, children, and seniors under the bus.  This is the same old threat, time and again.  Why do they never threaten to reduce their paychecks instead?

     

    190 city employees make over $100K.  Give them a 10% pay cut, this gives you $1.9M back to our budget.  Oh, we cannot do that because if we do not over pay people we will not be able to attract top talent.  Seriously folks, we are in a recession, show me where in this state there are 190 jobs paying $100k or more, where is the line for these jobs?  Newton apparently.

     

     

    Why are we paying $500,000 per year for a museum?  Do we really need a museum?  Who goes to the museum?  We should not subsidize this, if people want to go there let them pay.  Stop funding the museum, and in 20 years you will have $10M; this solves your override funding!

     

     

    What are our alderman’s priorities?  In spite of our economic crisis, this is what they are spending their time and our money on:

     

    1 Plastic shopping bag surcharges

    2 Leaf blower restrictions

    3 “ Banning banks from first floor retail locations

    4 €“ Restricting home based businesses

     

    Seriously, can thy find less impactful proposals to spend time on?  How about solve our financial crisis and spend time on that?

    After firing chief cummings, we pay him $50,000 for life.  Wow, work for Newton and hit the lottery.

     

    Cancel the vote in March.  This vote is costing us $60K.. Use the money to fund a teacher and an aid

    Why do we need a temporary election commissioner at $2k per week.  Another $100K job.  We should outsource the elections dept, why do we need full time staff to hold elections a few times per years.  Eliminate this position and pay for two teachers instead.

    Teachers continue to be underpaid, they fought tooth and nail for a measly 3.7% increase, while city administrators keep handing out $100k jobs.  Teachers should quit and apply for the election commissioner job.  Or work for the police dept, and get fired and get paid $50K for life

    I just looked at an old 2000 tax bill.  Go find yours. You will see that your taxes have gone up 50% to 2013’s bill.  And still this is not enough.  Raising taxes never solves our budget problem.  Only cutting spending will.  We need to make a list of "Must have's"€, and "€œnice to have's"€, and start eliminating the nice to haves. 

    VOTE NO AND THIS WILL SEND THE MESSAGE, THIS NONSENSE MUST STOP.  If you keep giving them money, they have no incentive to cut spending.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from MovingNewtonForward. Show MovingNewtonForward's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    In response to CalmView's comment:

     

    We definitely need these overrides.  Unlike most other communities Newton has only passed one override ever and it's really showing.  Our roads, schools, and fire stations are literally falling apart.  We owe it to our community to pitch in and pay for the buildings and roads we need, and pay for more teachers so our class sizes won't go up as our enrollment goes up.  Naysayers will claim the money isn't needed but they won't give specifics about where we can come up with the millions needed other than asking our teachers to take pay cuts.  It's just wishful thinking on their part that the city doesn't need more money.  Our tax rate is actually lower than many surrounding communities.  I attended one of the city's public forums about the override and found it very helpful in making up my mind.  There is also plenty of information on-line through the city's website for anyone who wants to sift through the data.  I trust this Mayor who has shown he can operate a budget efficiently but needs more capital to pay for the big student enrollment increase and the backlog of road and building needs.  I'm voting Yes 3 times on March 12 and encourage everyone to do the same to get Newton back on track.

     



    WRT "but they won't give specifics about where we can come up with the millions needed other than asking our teachers to take pay cuts."

     

    Well, we provide Boston $7M worth of value by educating their kids in our school system.  Boston should either pay Newton $7M to educate 400+ Boston kids in Newton schools or spend $7M educating those 400+ Boston kids in Boston schools.

    We could have also garnered $2.1M annually from naming rights however Professor Lisle Baker and his cronies put the kibosh on that.

    We can also vote to end CPA and vote to take the money that would normally fund CPA and use it for general government functions like schools, buildings etc.  That would be another $2.4M

    WRT "Our roads, schools, and fire stations are literally falling apart." Well, we at Moving Newton Forward (With Fiscal Responsibility) did not demand that our city officials proscratinate on capital rehabiltiation projects in favor of generous pay and benefit packages for city workers.  

    WRT "It's just wishful thinking on their part that the city doesn't need more money." The city will spend $312M in FY 2013.  80% of that is wages and benefits.  If the city reduced compensation growth to 1% from FY2015 to FY2017, it would be able to afford these spending programs without cutting jobs, without cutting pay and without requiring an override.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from deirdrefernandesglobe. Show deirdrefernandesglobe's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override chat

    Hi,

    This is Deirdre Fernandes, reporter with the Boston Globe. I'll be hosting an on-line chat with folks on both sides of the override debate Thursday afternoon, slightly after 12:30 p.m. I hope you can join us for the discussion. If you have questions but can't participate at that time, you can submit questions to me at deirdre.fernandes@globe.com.

    Here's the link to Thursday's chat: http://live.boston.com/Event/Newton_Property_Tax_Override_Discussion

    I hope to you see you online tomorrow.

    Thanks.

    Deirdre

     

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from chekhov. Show chekhov's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    We lived in Newton until the kids graduated high school then left for the lower taxes in Waltham.  You get what you pay for.  I love Waltham, but it sure ain't Newton.  Newton residents, I advise you to pony up. 

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostoncomreader. Show bostoncomreader's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    I think suspending METCO program will really make Newton schools great and even increase property values. 

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostoncomreader. Show bostoncomreader's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    Whoever advocates for the override should just send more tax money in the envelope marking specifically "this is my extra money for the wonderful Newton schools". And leave other people alone. This is fair.

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from MovingNewtonForward. Show MovingNewtonForward's posts

    Re: Newton property tax override

    In response to bostoncomreader's comment:

    Whoever advocates for the override should just send more tax money in the envelope marking specifically "this is my extra money for the wonderful Newton schools". And leave other people alone. This is fair.



    Bostoncomreader, two things:

    1. We totally agree with your post.  We found that if the tax-grabbers at BNF had paid the higher taxes sought in 2008, the 11,114 people that voted for the override in 2008 would have collectively paid $4M annually since 2008.  That would have covered two of the three buildings sought by these three extravagantly expensive tax hikes.

    2. We wish that there was a like button that showed that we liked it.  So this will have to do.

     
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