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Legislators to discuss state tax reform at Tuesday night forum in Northampton

— Three of Hampshire County’s state legislators are expected to discuss state tax reform at a community forum tonight.

Sen. Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst, Rep. Peter Kocot, D-Northampton, and Rep. John Scibak, D-South Hadley, will share their perspectives and analysis of a pair of recent tax reform proposals. They’ll also take comments from constituents about tax reform.

The free event, sponsored by Yes!Northampton and other local organizations, will take place in the JFK Middle School community room at 7 p.m. If school is canceled because of snow, JFK will still open for the meeting.

The forum will focus on why tax reform is needed and what residents can do to ensure a proposal passes.

Supporters believe state tax reform is critical to address an ongoing revenue shortfall in the city, which in fiscal 2014 is facing another in a series of significant budget gaps.

The forum will focus on a pair of recent proposals: Gov. Deval Patrick’s plan to raise revenue and invest in education and transportation, and legislation Kocot is co-sponsoring that would raise $2 billion in revenues through progressive tax reform. Kocot’s bill is called An Act to Invest in Our Communities.

In addition to Yes!Northampton, the forum is sponsored by the Northampton Democratic City Committee, Living Wage Western Massachusetts, Massachusetts Nurses Association and Young Democrats of Pioneer Valley.

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