Pro-Taxpayer is Pro-Massachusetts
Andover, MA. . . Today as shoppers start to prepare for the sales tax holiday weekend Andover Selectman and candidate for the State Senate, Alex Vispoli announced his Taxpayer Protection Initiative.
“People will be frantically shopping this weekend. It will help spur economic activity. We need to do more with our tax code to revitalize our economy,” said Vispoli. “The Senate and the Patrick Administration have been routinely raiding people’s wallets to pay for the mismanagement of state government. I strongly believe that we pay enough in taxes and that it is time protect the taxpayers from state government.”
Over the past year the Senate has implemented the tech tax (repealed), increased the gas tax, linked the gas tax to inflation, raised cigarette taxes, applied new taxes to utilities, hiked registry fees by 20%, raised MBTA fares, added more toll booths to the Mass Pike, and required Amazon.com to start collecting sales taxes.
As the next State Senator, Vispoli is promising to work for the following reforms and initiatives:
Vispoli’s Taxpayer Protection Initiative
- Require 10 public hearings to seek input from taxpayers on tax policy changes
- End per diems for legislators
- End corporate welfare
- Support Prop 2 ½
- Stop unfunded mandates
- Prohibit the state to work with contractors that fail to deliver product to the state on time and on budget
- Require 10 hearings around the state before registry fees are hiked
- Prohibit any new toll roads
First on his list is to require 10 public hearings around the state before changing tax policy. Vispoli believes that public input would have prevented the Tech tax debacle.
The next item is getting rid of per diems for legislators. “No one pays me to drive to work. Why should legislators get this special perk exempting them from the high price of gas? It is time for Senators to live like everyone else,” said Vispoli.
The third item is to protect taxpayers from having to pay corporate welfare. For example, the first draft of the Boston Convention Center bond bill for $1.1 billion included $100 million for a hotel. It was a sweetheart deal. While Vispoli supports encouraging business development by lowering taxes and repealing burdensome regulations, he doesn’t think companies should be getting taxpayer funded handouts.
As a Selectman, Vispoli has always been a supporter of Prop 2 ½. As a Senator, he will vote against all attempts to repeal prop 2 ½.
The legislature has a bad habit of passing requirements on towns and not funding them. They can become budget busters for municipalities. As a Selectman, he will be able to speak directly to the problems of unfunded mandates.
Like all taxpayers, Vispoli is disturbed by how much money has been wasted on failed websites. The unemployment insurance website was $6 million over budget. The state spent $55 million for a Department of Revenue website that had to be abandoned. The Health Connector website is going to be at least a $500 million mistake. “If a contractor’s work fails, then the state should not give them more projects. If a dentist pulls the wrong tooth, do you go back to that dentist? I think not. It is time for some good business practices that will protect the taxpayers,” said Vispoli.
The Registry of Motor Vehicles raised registry fees by 20% and then held a hearing seeking public input. Vispoli knows that is backwards. He believes that consumers deserve input when more money is being taken out of their wallets.
A month ago the Patrick administration implemented open road tolling on the Tobin bridge. Vispoli fears it is a gateway to open road tolling everywhere. “I will not allow for any more tolling. We pay enough to drive in this state,” added Vispoli.
Boston, MA. … Alex Vispoli, candidate for State Senate joined legislators Marc Lombardo, Shaunna O’Connell, Geoff Diehl, Jim Lyons, and Leah Cole in calling for more transparency at the State House.
Vispoli pledged to push for sunlight reforms when elected.
The transparency plan includes:
- Ending the bundling of amendments.
- Standing with any member who wants a Roll Call vote
- Prohibiting the passage of spending bills in informal session
- Require conference committees meetings be open to the press and public
- Requiring the Ethics Committee to be bi-partisan.
- Ending the legislative exemption from the public records law (Constituent work would be exempt for privacy reasons.)
“These are common sense steps to open the process and provide more accountability within the legislative process, I am pleased to support this initiative” said Vispoli.
Legislators Should Also Feel Pain at the Pump
Andover, MA. … Yesterday Andover Selectman and candidate for the State Senate, Alex Vispoli called for an end to legislative per diems that pay for legislators commuting expenses.
“It is time to end this special perk of legislators,” said Vispoli. “I find it incredulous that the Senate would vote to link the gas tax to inflation while they get this special perk which means they don’t feel the pain at the pump like the rest of us. Senators should have to pay to drive to work like everyone in Andover, Dracut, Lawrence and Tewksbury do.”
Senators can claim a per diem for every day they go to the State House. The amounts vary from district depending on the distance representatives have to drive to the State House. It ranges from $10 per day to $90. Last year Senator Stan Rosenberg claimed the most in per diems. He accepted $12,840.
As our next State Senator, Vispoli plans on filing legislation to end this perk for legislators. He feels strongly that it is wrong for the legislature to be increasing the cost of driving to work when they don’t have to pay for gas or the gas tax. Vispoli is also opposed to raising the gas tax annually. He has been part of the effort to repeal the gas tax being linked to inflation.
Vispoli has signed a pledge to abolish per diems and not to take per diems when elected.
One Year Since Auditor’s Report
Andover, MA … Yesterday Andover Selectman and candidate for the State Senate, Alex Vispoli joined Representatives Shaunna O’Connell, Geoff Diehl, Marc Lombardo, Jim Lyons and Leah Cole and Senator Bob Hedlund in urging the House and Senate conference committee on welfare reform to get their work done and release the bill from committee for a final vote.
“This week is the one year anniversary of the State Auditor’s report on welfare fraud. It is time to fix this program,” said Vispoli. “If the taxes can be quickly enacted then the legislature can reform welfare within one year.”
“The people of the Commonwealth were promised a reform bill over 15 months ago. Time is running out in this session. Action is needed now so we stop the fraud and help those who truly need assistance,” said O’Connell.
House3756, An Act to foster economic independence has been stuck in conference committee since last November. There are only 63 days left in the legislative session.
“There has been more than enough time to negotiate the differences between the House and Senate bills. Let’s end the conference committee gridlock,” said Diehl.
Last year the Auditor’s report found: 1164 people who have died, collecting $2.4 million in benefits, $1 million in benefits went to people with fake Social Security numbers, DTA failed to verify Social Security numbers for people self-declaring, $15 million in questionable benefits, and DTA offices mishandled 30,000 blank EBT cards.
“When I am out door knocking people express their frustration about the fact that Beacon Hill is ignoring them. They want reform and yet this bill lingers in conference committee. And worse yet, that committee has only met once,” said Vispoli. “We can and must do better.”
Vispoli Criticizes DOT for Holding Hearings After Raising Registry Fees
Andover, MA …Today Andover Selectman and candidate for State Senate, Alex Vispoli criticized the Department of Transportation for holding public hearing after they raised registry fees.
“You hold public hearings to seek input on fees before raising them. It is crazy to hold them afterwards.
Vispoli believes that these public hearings are nothing more than a political set up. Attendance will be poor due to the fee hike already being in place. The administration will use the lack of participation as evidence of acceptance when that’s not the case.
“When I am collecting signatures to repeal the gas tax being linked to inflation, voters are telling me how angry they are. They don’t like taxation without representation. And now this political gamesmanship over the registry fees will further anger them,” said Vispoli. “As the next State Senator, I will hold the administration accountable. I will demand that public hearings be held before not afterwards.”
Last month the Department of Transportation announced 20 percent increases in Registry of Motor Vehicle fees. Last year the gas tax was raised 3 cents and the legislature linked the tax to inflation which means the tax will automatically increase every year.
“It is time to run our state forward not backwards. We need to stop taxation without representation. Moreover, we need accountability of our tax dollars before ever even considering raising fees or taxes. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been wasted and yet reforms like the welfare bill are stuck in conference committee. There is no justification for raising taxes when there has been no spending reforms,” said Vispoli.
Candidate Will Deliver Carnations to Moms
Andover, MA …Today Chairman of the Andover Board of Selectmen and candidate for State Senate, Alex Vispoli announced that he will kick off his door knocking effort this Mother’s Day weekend. He will be delivering carnations to the Moms of the district.
“With the full support of my wife Ann, I will start to visit the neighborhoods of the district,” said Vispoli. “Moms of this district want better opportunities for their children. I want to use my business background to create a pro-jobs climate in the Commonwealth.”
Vispoli is running on a pro-jobs, more accountability of tax dollars and a lower tax burden agenda.
“Moms know that household budgets are stretched to the max. They cannot afford higher taxes. The gas tax being linked to inflation is going to be very costly on households. It will raise not only the cost for commuting but also buying groceries,” said Vispoli.
“It is very important to meet voters face to face,” added Vispoli. “I am running for the Senate to serve the people of the district not the Beacon Hill insiders. I want to meet with as many voters as possible over the next seven months to discuss my ideas of fighting for fiscal responsibility within the state budget and a lower tax burden.”
Vispoli believes that visiting voters at their doors is the best method for opening a dialogue on the serious issues confronting our city and state. He plans to door knock straight through until November.
“It is important that the people of Andover, Dracut, Lawrence and Tewskbury know that they have direct access to their elected leaders. That’s why I am going to their doors.” said Vispoli. As the next Senator, I will have an open door policy for meeting with constituents. There will be no waiting weeks for an appointment.”