'Step 1' Calls for Bump in State Money to Danvers
Danvers could see more state money if legislators approve the fiscal 2014 budget proposed by Gov. Deval Patrick this week.
The state budget proposed by Gov. Deval Patrick this week calls for a 14 percent increase in state aid to Danvers.
State Rep. Ted Speliotis (D-Danvers) called it a "good bump" but also warned that it may be a "tease" from Patrick, who is hoping to get legislators to approve a proposed increase in the income tax and so-called "sin taxes" on candy and cigarettes.
Speliotis welcomed the numbers in Patrick's budget - $9.3 million for Danvers - but also warned that it is "step 1" in the budget process that will run into the summer before a final budget is reached.
"This is step 1 in the budget process," he said. "There's a chance we could level fund (local aid) and it would mean nothing."
Speliotis said he does not support the new taxes proposed in Patrick's budget. While he said the income tax is the "fairest tax we have," he noted the state is still coming out a recession.
"I think it sends the wrong message right now to be looking at taxes," he said.
Patrick has proposed an increase in the income tax along with a drop in the sales tax. Speliotis said he would like to see more of a focus on ways to decrease the property tax.
"I would have been happier if he had looked at property taxes and not sales taxes," he said.
Unlike the late 2000s, Speliotis said the budget does not need more revenue. And state aid to Danvers increased last year without any tax increases, Speliotis noted.
The proposed budget also includes "sin taxes" on soda, candy and cigarettes. Speliotis said similar "targeted taxes" were also proposed by Patrick last year.
"We rejected those last year and I would expect we would do it again," he said.
Taxes should be designed to fund government operation for things such as education and transportation and "not to punish human behavior," Speliotis said.