A coming revolt?
Reading about Stoneham cutting
its entire high-school sports program, I can't help but think a breaking point is coming. The first reaction of some parents was not to say, 'OK, let's do an override. Let's fix it.' No, their first reaction: Off to private schools. There's just a sense out there, assuming my political antenna is picking up the right signals, that government can't fix itself. So property-tax payers are drawing a line in the sand. Not every community is doing so. The ultra-affluent towns are passing overrides left and right. But other less affluent communities aren't. Property taxes are rising so fast that they're the rough equivalent of small pre-housing boom mortgages -- and many non-affluent people just can't afford them. ... One of the biggest culprits of rising town costs: Health care. Which leads to Michael Moore's bashing
of the new universal health-care program in Massachusetts. Why the bashing? Evil insurance companies. Moore's solution? Government takeover of the system. But tell that to beleaguered taxpayers who daily see government incompetence at the local, state and federal levels -- whether it's town workers ripping off pension systems or the MBTA going bust or Mike 'Great Job' Brown's FEMA. ... I don't know where all of this is going. But the 'revolt' I sense coming is really a rejection of governments that seem incapable of reforming themselves -- and always demanding more. The 'revolt' may already be under way, but not necessarily in the guise of rejecting property-tax overrides. Non-affluent people are revolting by simply packing up and leaving the state in ever greater numbers. Those rejecting overrides are merely rear-guard holdouts. ...Update
- 6.24.07 -- OK, so the above post is embarrassingly grandiose and inarticulate. But you're not going to hear me saying the solution to high property taxes is higher taxes.