School leaders should not plan on any increase in state funding in the coming year, state Rep. Brad Hill has told the School Committee.
Hill said the additional $44,000 that would come to the regional school district
Other communities on the North Shore are slated for “huge increases,” Hill said. For example, the plan calls for $500,000 more for Ipswich, where Hill lives. While Hamilton-Wenham’s increase is rather small, Hill warned that they School Committee should still not plan on the money right now.
“A lot of those dollars are related to raising a lot of taxes,” Hill said.
Typically, Hill’s message to the School Committee’s in his district is that the governor’s proposed budget is the ceiling for possible state aid. But this year, he can’t say that “with a straight face.” That’s because a raise in the income tax and the elimination of 44 tax exemptions are part of a plan by Gov. Deval Patrick to increase state revenue by $800 million. Hill said a forecasted increase of state aid to schools is, in part, premised on that increased tax revenue. But Hill said the Ways and Means Committee has forecasted tax revenue will increase in the coming year even without increasing tax rates and that may be enough to increase state aid. But it is too early to count on it, he said.
“It’s not a partisan concern,” said the Ipswich Republican about the tax increase proposed by Patrick.
Many of the tax increase are “going to hurt a lot of families, a lot of middle class families,” Hill said.
Hill noted the only tax he thinks may go up is the gas tax because residents have said concern about a deteriorating transportation infrastructure is a No. 1 concern.