The following is a letter to the editor submitted by Dennis Galvin, the GOP nominee for the Second Middlesex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. To submit your own letter, e-mail us at email@example.com
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Former State Representative Geoff Hall recently wrote a Letter to The Editor criticizing the content of mailings issued by Mass Fiscal Alliance concerning the voting record of James Arciero. In the article, Hall indirectly attempted to cast aspersions about the integrity of my campaign. My response is that there is no connection between my campaign activities and Mass Fiscal Alliance. Mr. Hall’s remarks were an indirect attempt to smear me.
The record clearly shows that James Arciero did vote for the gas tax (re: H3382, RC 13-061), which imposed a three cent tax on gasoline and tied it to increases in inflation. He also voted for the innovation tax, which was also included in the same tax bill. This tax directly threatened the important tech sector of our state economy. He did oppose these taxes early in the legislative session, but when the Governor sent the state budget back to the legislature through a veto, an amendment was attached which would have eliminated these taxes. Mr. Arciero switched sides and joined the two thirds majority voting to override the Governor’s veto and budget amendment, thus imposing the tax. Mr. Arciero and his surrogates may try to disguise this vote as part of a budget process, but they can’t avoid the fact that he was confronted with an up or down vote on rejecting or keeping the gas and innovation tax and he voted to keep them.
Additionally, municipal vehicles were not exempted from the gas tax. Cities and towns must pay the tax when their vehicles refuel and this cost will be passed on to homeowners through the property tax. Mr. Arciero never, at any time, opposed this provision. (Re: H3382, RC13-061)
With regard to local aid, the record shows that Mr. Arciero has supported only minimal increases in local aid, hardly sufficient to keep pace with rising costs and inflation. These increases have not restored local aid to 2009 levels, when the Governor drastically cut this account. Mr. Arciero has opposed several attempts to increase local aid, and in 2014 he gave his support to a resolution to restrict discussion of local aid in state budget deliberations (Re: H3999, RC 14-324). His advocacy for local aid has been less than robust.
The gas tax and local aid are two significant issues for our district. The first impacts commuters and those who rely on vehicles as part of their business. The second directly impacts the quality of municipal services (schools, police, fire). It also serves as a hedge against property tax increases because it returns state revenue to the towns. The voters of this district pay their fair share of state income taxes and deserve this return in revenue.
The voters of this district are also owed an explanation as to why Mr. Arciero was for the gas tax after he was against it. Did he change his mind about the merits of this tax or was he responding to pressure from the House Leadership ? The voters are entitled to know. If he did acquiesce to his leadership, then he placed his district in a position of being on the outside looking in with regard to state tax policy. If that is the case, then it is definitely time for a change