1. Controversy emerges over taxes, free speech in proposed 'community benefit districts'

    Controversy emerges over taxes, free speech in proposed 'community benefit districts'

    A bill allowing the creation of Community Benefit Districts where residents can be taxed to fund local improvements is getting a second look after passing both the House and Senate, amid criticism by groups on both the right and the left of the political spectrum. "Many municipalities are struggling to find resources to help grow their local economy and make neighborhood community improvements," said Sen. Brendan Crighton, D-Lynn, who sponsored the bill. "We feel that through this community benefit bill, it will empower the community to decide on additional and supplemental services that could help attract more folks to their ...

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    1. Many municipalities are struggling to find resources to help grow their local economy and make neighborhood community improvements.
    2. We believe the bill, regardless of good intentions by the proponents, is dangerous and should not be enacted.
    3. This is important because our communities can't take care of their important public spaces.
    4. They function the same way as a Business Improvement District does, but there's some modest adjustments to the procedures that should help more communities be able to take advantage of these tools.
    5. Block by block they're coming for taxpayers.
    6. It is very troubling to imagine granting any entity in a city or town the power to impose taxes, enter into agreements to provide transit or sanitation services, maintain public spaces or buy and sell real property without any accountability.
    7. We can improve neighborhoods without ceding core principles of democracy.
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