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

Framingham trash fee in the works Sunday, October 5, 2003
Doug Freeman Metrowest Daily News
Mark Kelleher's letter to the editor of Sept. 27, 2003 regarding the trash fees imposed on the citizens of Natick should be of keen interest to the taxpayers of Framingham.

Mr. Kelleher has a firm grasp of the real issue in towns all over MetroWest: selectmen and town officials are desperately searching for ways to generate revenue by imposing new fees on residents.  These fees are tantamount to adding new taxes without having to seek ballot approval by way of an override vote.

Framingham will soon suffer a similar attempt to circumvent the intent of Proposition 2 1/2 by the imposition of trash fees.  One difference between the two towns is the fact that Framingham residents have voted for Proposition 2 1/2 overrides twice in recent memory, both times with either the explicit or implicit promise that those overrides would save the existing trash pick up program paid for in existing property taxes.

Despite this, the Board of Selectmen and Board of Public Works both seem bent on the imposition of a trash fee system in Framingham.  Public Works insists that the program is intended to encourage recycling and will decrease the amount of trash tonnage generated in town, thus saving money.  While this is laudable, they intend to accomplish this by charging for trash pick up by way of a pay-as-you-throw trash fee.  The Board of Selectman, on the other hand, seems to be more interested in the additional revenue to be generated.

Fortunately for Framingham taxpayers there is an article included in the Oct. 7 special town meeting warrant that seeks to prevent this tax hike in the disguise of a fee before it happens.  Town Meeting Article 12 calls for any trash fees imposed to be made revenue neutral by requiring that the fees charged be offset by a reduction in property taxes equal to the fees collected.

This means that if Public Works wants to charge a fee to encourage recycling, they can.  They just can't keep the additional money.  If they impose a fee and their predictions are true, trash tonnage will be reduced and the town will still see budget savings because of less trash and more recycling taking place.  Article 12 must pass a town meeting vote to take effect.  If you would like to prevent the Board of Selectmen from surreptitiously increasing your taxes with a trash fee, please call your precinct's town meeting member and indicate your support for Article 12.

A list of town meeting members and contact information is available by calling the Town Clerk or can be found on the town of Framingham web site http://www.framinghamma.org/web/Government/TownMeetingMembers.htm

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