February 28, 2011

The Hot Issue of Taxation

Justin Katz

Tonight's Tiverton Town Council agenda includes a public hearing on a proposed tax cap process for the town. The Town Hall is about 20% over capacity (meaning 120 people with a capacity of 100). The fire chief notified the council that, if some people don't clear out, he'll have to call the meeting off.

Only a few people were willing to leave, and taking faces that I recognize as a representative sample, the bulk of the audience was only too happy to see anything that might limit tax increases tabled and held off for a number of weeks. A number of teachers, for example.

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Don't those teachers have the same rights as all other town residents? Maybe they are just interested in keeping the process clean and open. Should they have volunteered to leave? Did you volunteer to leave?

Posted by: triplerichard at February 28, 2011 9:36 PM

Triple R, it sounds like Justin was merely pointing out that not very many people in the audience are amenable to leaving (FOR EXAMPLE, some teachers). Therefore, how is the audience to be pared down to comply with fire code?

By the way, why would a tax cap even be controversial? Tiverton's annual tax hikes for, say, the last ten years have been far higher than inflation, never mind population and school enrollment trends. A tax cap doesn't go nearly far enough; what should be on the agenda is a tax roll back.

Posted by: Monique at February 28, 2011 9:57 PM

He was saying that teachers, naturally, are for tax increases.

Posted by: Bob at February 28, 2011 10:12 PM

In shorthand while I tried to write a note while following the proceedings of the meeting, I thought the example of teachers was a satisfactory stand-in for the general slate of usual suspects who wish there to be as few barriers as possible to increased town spending.

As it happened, the only movement there was to leaving so as to bring the audience down to capacity came from people who support the cap and wished at least for the matter to proceed. Had the number gotten down to 101, I would have left, I guess, but it's at least somewhat fair for me to characterize myself as media covering the meetings.

Posted by: Justin Katz at February 28, 2011 11:21 PM
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