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Community Leaders Urge 'No' Vote on Question 3

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Mayor Richard Alcombright, state Rep. Dan Bosley,  state Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield, Adams Town Administrator Jonathan Butler, Clarksburg Town Administrator Michael Canales, Florida Town Administrator Christine Dobbert and Williamstown Town Manager Peter Fohlin, have come out against what they say would be the "devastating fiscal impact to all North Berkshire communities" if ballot Question 3  is passed.

Question 3, to be voted on in next week's election, proposes a reduction of the state’s sales tax from 6.25 percent to 3 percent.

According to a statement released by Alcombright's office on Oct. 28, at the Oct. 20 Massachusetts Mayors meeting attended by Alcombright, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation speaker Andy Bagley described Question 3 as “heading over the cliff." 

The state already faces a $2 billion dollar shortfall in the upcoming fiscal 2012 budget, which would jump to $4.5 billion if the voters approve Question 3. According to MTF,  the resulting massive spending cuts would eliminate or erode a wide range of services from education and public safety to health care and human services.

“Our communities would be devastated by the loss of revenue in FY2012 and passage of Question 3 would additionally assure deep and chaotic cuts right after the first of the year.  It is projected that the City of North Adams would be cut by as much as $2.1 million dollars in FY2012 if Question 3 passes and we would certainly see significant revenue reductions in this current fiscal year.  Overall, the FY2012 impact on municipal and school budgets in North Berkshire from Question 3 alone would be over $4.6 million dollars in addition to the already projected cuts of up to 15 percent  on both municipal and school aid.  All in all, with the passage of Question 3 and anticipated FY2012 cuts, North Berkshire could lose close to $8.8 million dollars in state aid,” Alcombright said in the statement.

Fohlin added, “Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation projects Williamstown and Mount Greylock Regional School District will lose over $400,000 if Question 3 passes. The effect on education, public safety, and public works would be devastating. I can’t imagine asking Williamstown property owners to fill such a huge gap.”

The state has cut municipal and school funding by more than 18 percent over the past three years and the passage of Question 3 would assure reductions in funding of over 20 percent next year. These massive reductions in revenue would mandate deep and painful cuts to all segments of municipal and school budgets for all communities in North Berkshire County, the statement concluded. 

Tags: Question 3, sales tax      

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Where to vote in Berkshire County

State Election
Tuesday, Nov. 4

Voting is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Deadline to register or change party affiliation was Oct.15.


Candidates on the ballot in races for state office; all others on the ballot are unopposed. Links will take you to their campaign websites.

U.S. Senator
Edward J. Markey, Democrat
Brian J. Herr, Republican

Governor/Lieutenant Governor
Charlie Baker & Karyn Polito, Republican
Martha Coakley & Stephen Kerrigan, Democrat
Evan Falchuk & Angus Jennings, United Independent Party
Scott Lively & Shelly Saunders, Independent
Jeff McCormick & Tracy Post, Independent 

Attorney General
Maura Healey, Democratic
John B. Miller, Republican

Secretary of State
William Francis Galvin, Democratic
David D'Arcangelo, Republican
Daniel L. Factor, Green-Rainbow

Treasurer
Deborah B. Goldberg, Democratic
Michael James Heffernan, Republican
Ian T. Jackson, Green-Rainbow

Auditor
Suzanne M. Bump, Democratic
Patricia S. Saint Aubin, Republican
MK Merelice, Green-Rainbow

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The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015

You may vote absentee: if you will be absent from your town or city on election day, have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polls or cannot vote at the polls because to religious beliefs.

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