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Letter: How Does The TCC/Nelson Budget Help Hard-Pressed Taxpayers?

Tiverton resident Brian Medeiros writes a letter to the editor.

To the Editor:

Budgets can be a complex chore to understand, but the choice facing Tiverton voters at the May 15 Financial Town Referendum (FTR) is a simple one. There’s just one figure to consider: $1.39 per week. That’s the tax difference between the two options on the FTR ballot for a $250,000 home, less than the price of a cup of coffee. But the true cost of the “lower taxes” promised by Option 2 is stunning.

FTR Option 1 is the elected Budget Committee’s recommendation, put forth after months of effort. It responsibly funds our current level of town and school services, while requiring a minimal tax increase.

FTR Option 2 is the “David Nelson Budget," pushed by TCC, a Tea Party-style political-action committee. It arbitrarily cuts $600,000 from the amount the Budget Committee determined was needed to adequately fund the schools, with no clue as to what to cut to achieve this.The has demonstrated that closing this budget hole will require either closing a school or eliminating all extracurricular activities, as well as staff cutbacks. Is it worth decimating a school system recently recognized for rising achievement to save $1.39 week?

But that’s not all the frights in the TCC/Nelson Budget Funhouse. Although it guts the school budget, Option 2 nearly triples the municipal budget increase recommended by the Budget Committee. How can this be so if it taxes $1.39 per week less? By raiding the town’s already-depleted General Fund. In fact, this will put that fund below the legally-mandated level. But never fear: this budget promises that $200,000 in “new revenues” will magically appear. “Fiscal responsibility”? No, smoke-and-mirrors.

The Nelson/TCC budget option 2 would be a complete joke if not for the thousands of dollars TCC raises and spends to push its agenda. When you see the yard signs and receive the endless mailers and robocalls, ask yourself: why would a group offering something good for “all taxpayers” need to spend so much to sell its plan? With the TCC website soliciting anonymous contributions up to $1800, whose interests are they really concerned with?

When you hear TCC claim to represent “struggling taxpayers," keep in mind that the TCC-majority Town Council could ease their burden right now by increasing hardship tax abatements. But they won’t do it because they might have to pay a bit more to make up the difference. And consider: how does it help hard-pressed taxpayers to decimate both our schools and our General Fund?

Get the facts and speak out at CURB-Tiverton on Facebook, or at: www.curbtiverton.blogspot.com. TCC counts on voters not understanding the facts and being swayed by slogans. They need those who value education and long-term financial health over short-term gain to not vote. Surely most can agree that our schools and our financial well-being is worth more than $1.39 per week. Stand up for our community by voting for Option 1.

Brian Medeiros
Tiverton

Bob Gaw May 11, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Both graphs are from numbers compiled from the US census bureau, this one indicates a decrease in # of households(Reffered to as population) and -3.16 % projected drop in # of households (families) NOT population. Tivertons population is 15,000+ vs 6,000+ households which is confirmed in below numbers, please note tax base is more accurately calculated by working households vs population. Your increase in growth simply reflects increase in population which can also increase costs to taxpayers vs decrease in households which decreases tax base. I understand how you made the error due to the loose definition of population/households. I will not resort to calling anyone a liar for their error. I am a small business owner and I am not guaranteed a check for operating at 50% and if I make too many errors I am quickly out of business, especially with these high taxes and difficult economy. Bottom line fewer households and families are living in Tiverton, ask any realtor they will tell you why -TAXES! 2010 Population Growth and Population Statistics Tiverton, RI Rhode Island United States Total Population 6,807 1,053,493 308,455,134 Population Change Since 1990 -6.25% 4.97% 24.02% Population Change Since 2000 -6.52% 0.49% 9.61% Forecasted Population Change by 2014 -3.16% 0.11% 4.52% http://www.clrsearch.com/Tiverton_Demographics/RI/Population-Growth-and-Population-Statistics
Just Another Taxpayer May 11, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Bob Gaw, I accessed your link it was not the US Census Bureau's website.
RI Teabagger May 22, 2012 at 02:58 AM
See, that's exactly why were were told to vote for #2, the schools were going to raise the taxes 22% and were soon going to be a half-billion dollar operation. Why can't they fix their toilets with that kind of scratch?
Tom May 22, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Ruth - It's not half a billion dollars. It's $50 million NOT billion. I can't help but wonder if you don't know the difference between a million and a billion how are you allowed to vote on any budget?
Ruth Rachel May 23, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Noted. Thank you, Chris, for being part of the reason the Voters for the FTR and Tiverton Citizens for Change were created. Every time I hear you speak or see what you write, it inspires me to do my part for this town, to keep it from what you would do to it. Absolutely! On to good ideas - more wins in athletics too! (Even I know a lot about improving athletically, team and non-team sports! but that's not my focus in this comment...) But even more importantly, we're going to bring cool neighbors who really care about each other, Back! Judging from what you and your cohorts have done in the past, your financial plan would be to double the school budget again in the next 10 years, (that would be about $55,000,000.00 to $56,000,000.00 - that's half of $100 million dollars, whatever it is, it's huge money and unsustainable increases). If that's your track, CC, I'm working creatively to NOT GO THERE! I'm for doing better, with LESS MONEY!!!

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