Every tax is a pay cut.  Every tax cut is a pay raise.
Citizens for Limited Taxation

End Winter Service to Churches
Cheryl Gordon Thursday, January 30, 2003
As a Town Meeting member and the chairman of the Standing Committee on Public Safety, I am intimately aware of and monitoring the major budget crises that the town is currently facing and that was predicted last year.

This has led me to start thinking about possible causes of the budget crises.  The cause is not Romney's potential cut to local aid.  The cause is lack of planning for the poor years during the rich years.  Unfortunately, town meeting members get somewhat "broad" budget information that doesn't always clearly define the use of the funds we are expected to approve.  We "trust" the departments to spend money wisely and for the most part, they do.

Over the years, the topic of plowing non-taxpaying religious establishment's parking lots has come up and gone away just as fast, while the practice continues.  Not only are we currently plowing over 20 religious establishment's parking lots, often using employee overtime and causing wear and tear on the town's equipment, but we are sanding/salting and then sweeping them in the spring.

How much of our tax dollars is this costing us?  I would like to know and you should want to know, too.

I'm hoping this letter brings this issue to light, as I believe with the current budget crises and potential layoffs, that this practice should be suspended immediately.  As I watched the selectmen's meeting a few weeks ago, I was outraged that one of our selectmen suggested that the town might consider no longer plowing sidewalks to save money (and having residents shovel their own sidewalks) while we are probably essentially spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars maintaining lots for religious establishments that do not pay taxes.

What ever happened to the separation of church and state?

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