Jim Reis: Consider city’s residents as well as its services
To the editor:
The recent tax override decision made in Northampton was a very difficult one for people on both sides of the issue. We live in a wonderful city with exceptional citizen support for all residents and for good schools and other services.
This support, though, does require substantial financial resources. This vote to increase taxes has been divisive, given the number of overrides. Income disparity is increasing and people on fixed incomes are challenged to support these increases. If we want to continue to be the kind of exceptional community that supports all of its citizens we need to address a number of questions: Should more be done to exempt or reduce the tax increases for people on fixed incomes? How can more of us advocate for increased state and federal aid? Should the city and the schools further reduce expenditures?
As someone who voted for the increase, I am very concerned about those people on fixed incomes who really are in an extremely difficult position to support these increases even if they would like to. We want to be a community that provides quality services, but also one that is committed to supporting all of its residents.