MTA submits testimony against income tax repeal

The Massachusetts Teachers Association today expressed strong opposition to H4469, the proposed ballot initiative that would eliminate the state income tax.

Tim Sullivan, a member of the MTA's executive committee and president of the Brockton Education Association, testified before the Joint Committee on Revenue about how devastating the proposal would be to public education.

"During the early years of this decade, funding for preK-12 public education was severely cut at the state level, which had a negative impact on the students, educators and programs in the Brockton Public Schools," Sullivan said. He detailed some of the services that students have already lost, including after-school and summer programs and academic support services for students with diverse needs. Numerous positions have been lost, including parent liaisons, teachers' aides and others.

"With the loss of $11.4 billion in annual state revenues, Brockton's Chapter 70 aid would inevitably be cut deeply, as would many, many state and local services on which our students and their families depend," Sullivan said. "We would face an unthinkable challenge of trying to educate students who are already confronting the unique challenges of an urban district but without the programs and teachers they need if they are to be ready to succeed in today's economy."

MTA President Anne Wass submitted written testimony against the proposal, which is expected to appear on the November ballot.

"The proposal outlined in H. 4469 is neither reasonable nor fair," she stated in her testimony. "We need to ensure that our students do not pay the ultimate price in lost educational opportunities. We need to ensure that the foundation of our economy -- a well-educated work force -- is sustained, not damaged by a thoughtless sledgehammer approach to tax policy."