November 30, 2016

Editorial: Mayor’s Tax Policy Committee Report — Money grab or smart policy?

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Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty convened a 16-person committee in April 2015 to begin a conversation about municipal tax policy.

Comprised of residents, members of the local and state government as well as business and nonprofit communities, the committee “met numerous times over the past year to discuss the challenge of local finance, the limitations of existing tax revenue structures, and options for diversifying and strengthening the City’s tax base.”

The committee released its 17-page report earlier this month, and it was presented Nov. 15 to the City Council.

The report acknowledged the committee “was not tasked with identifying and implementing solutions to the challenge of fair apportionment of cost among Worcester interests. Instead, we were invited to weigh in on ideas for building a stronger tax base that could lower the burden on all property owners and potentially identify new revenues to offset financial impacts.”

In other words, the central question is “how can the city raise new revenue while limiting our growing reliance on the property tax?”

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