Research Bureau questions for City Council candidates.Editor's Note Editor's Note (foaled in 1993 in Kentucky) is an American thoroughbred Stallion racehorse. He was sired by 1992 U.S. Champion 2 YO Colt Forty Niner, who in turn was a son of Champion sire Mr. Prospector and out of the mare, Beware Of The Cat.
Trained by D. : As a public service leading up to the Nov. 3 election, the Telegram & Gazette each Tuesday through Oct. 27 will print questions for local candidates as prepared by The Research Bureau. Background and explanatory ex·plan·a·to·ry
Serving or intended to explain: an explanatory paragraph.
ex·plan material have been edited for space purposes. For the complete report, visit www.wrrb.org. This week features question for candidates for City Council.
Do you support phasing in a single tax rate?
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 59 allows cities and towns to tax residential and commercial and industrial properties at different rates. In practice, this enables communities to shift much of the tax burden from residential property owners to commercial and industrial property owners. Worcester taxes commercial property owners at a rate more than twice the rate of residential property owners: $28.72 vs. $13.50 per $1,000 valuation. Many have argued that Worcester's dual tax rate is unfair to local business owners and places Worcester at a competitive disadvantage relative to neighboring neigh·bor
1. One who lives near or next to another.
2. A person, place, or thing adjacent to or located near another.
3. A fellow human.
4. Used as a form of familiar address.
v. communities. It is sometimes argued that Worcester's high commercial tax rate is relatively unimportant un·im·por·tant
Not important; petty.
unim·portance n. to businesses, or that it is outweighed by Worcester's convenient central location and well-educated work force. This claim is belied by the fact that the value of Worcester's tax base has decreased from 35 percent commercial and industrial in FY84 to 19 percent in FY09.
Should Worcester tap into its $12 million "excess" tax levy capacity?
Worcester is currently $12 million below its tax levy limit. Accessing these tax revenues would not require a Proposition 21/2 override An arrangement whereby commissions are made by sales managers based upon the sales made by their subordinate sales representatives. A term found in an agreement between a real estate agent and a property owner whereby the agent keeps the right to receive a commission for the sale of , but a simple majority vote by the City Council. However, the tax increase would occur at a time when many residents and businesses are already suffering from the effects of the national economic downturn.
If you favor spending all or part of the $12 million untaxed Adj. 1. untaxed - (of goods or funds) not taxed; "tax-exempt bonds"; "an untaxed expense account"
nontaxable, exempt - (of goods or funds) not subject to taxation; "the funds of nonprofit organizations are nontaxable"; "income exempt levy, how should it be used?
More specifically, should it be put towards offsetting cuts in core services The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter.
Please help [ improve the introduction] to meet Wikipedia's layout standards. You can discuss the issue on the talk page. such as public safety and public education, or towards capital expenditures that the city might otherwise have to put on hold, such as fixing its streets and sidewalks?
Should Worcester join the Group Insurance Commission?
Providing health insurance for municipal employees is Worcester's second largest expense ($62.2 million) after education ($213.3 million, less $39.2 million for health insurance for WPS See Windows Printing System and Workplace Shell.
(unit) wps - (Obsolete) Words per second (mostly used for Telex and TWX transmission). employees). Some communities in the commonwealth have attempted to manage the high and rising cost of municipal employee health insurance by joining the Group Insurance Commission, the state health insurance pool. Due to the size of its pool and because the GIC GIC
See: Guaranteed Investment Contract
See guaranteed investment contract (GIC). does not have to enter into collective bargaining collective bargaining, in labor relations, procedure whereby an employer or employers agree to discuss the conditions of work by bargaining with representatives of the employees, usually a labor union. for "plan design," it has managed to control the rising cost of health insurance better than municipalities have done. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the Department of Revenue, between FY02 and FY08, health insurance costs for Worcester increased by 94 percent, but only by 65 percent for the GIC. The conditions for joining the GIC are adoption of coalition bargaining and then 70 percent approval for entry by a Public Employee Committee, consisting of representatives from all the city's bargaining units A bargaining unit in labor relations is a group of employees with a clear and identifiable community of interests who are (under U.S. law) represented by a single labor union in collective bargaining and other dealings with management. . The coalition bargaining process would force the city to break with its practice of negotiating all elements of municipal employee health insurance through collective bargaining, thus treating all aspects of plan design and contribution rates as part of a total compensation package.
Do you support the use of civilian flaggers on construction sites?
In 2008, the state adopted legislation providing for the use of civilian flaggers to direct traffic on public construction projects on state roads that are considered to have low traffic volume at low speeds. However, local collective bargaining contracts in most municipalities, including Worcester, still require off-duty police officers to do this work on projects on local roads. The average wage for flaggers nationwide is $21 per hour compared to off-duty police officers in Worcester who get $40 per hour.
How should Worcester respond to the loss of state funding for the Quinn Bill?
The Police Career Incentive Pay Program, better known as the "Quinn Bill" (MGL MGL Massachusetts General Laws
MGL Moenchengladbach, Germany
MGL Mongolian Airlines (ICAO code)
MGL Mascon Global Limited (New Delhi, India)
MGL Multiple Greek Letter
MGL Milpitas Golfland Ch. 41, s. 108L), grants uniformed police personnel automatic, annual increases in their base salary of 10 percent, 20 percent and 25 percent for holding associate, bachelor's, and master's or law degrees, respectively. The state traditionally has paid for half the cost of this program, but there is no legal requirement for it to do so, and Quinn Bill aid has always been subject to appropriation. In FY10, the state cut back its contribution from $2.8 million to $400,000. This means that the City is responsible for almost the whole cost of the $5.6 million program. The city manager has recently stressed the need to revise Worcester's Quinn Bill program, since it is too expensive for the city to fund on its own and the state can no longer be counted on for assistance.
NAME: WORCESTER CITY COUNCIL