WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — The team of legislators that represents Westborough's multiple precincts shared coffee with the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday night and gave their input on several hot topics.
Reps. Carolyn Dykema (Precinct 2) and Danielle Gregoire (Precincts 1 and 3), both Democrats, and Republican Matt Beaton (Precincts 4 and 5) along with state Sen. Jamie Eldridge, a Democrat, weighed in on the state budget and how it will affect Westborough.
"All of us feel strongly that if there is an increase in funding for education that everybody gets their fair share, including Westborough," Eldridge said of the recent state budget proposal from Gov. Deval Patrick.
Town Manager Jim Malloy presented a concept to the legislators that would allow Westborough to adjust its own sales tax rate to shift the tax burden.
"I wouldn't say 'almost penalized,' we are penalized," Malloy said of how funds are allocated disproportionately to towns.
"[A proportional sales tax system] would be substantial for a community like Westborough, especially with all of the car dealerships popping up."
Beaton, the lone Republican member of Westborough's representatives, agreed that the town shouldn't be penalized for encouraging business, but he disapproves of Patrick's proposal. What would essentially be a $2 billion budget increase would slow the state's economic recovery, Beaton said.
"I think it's the wrong decision right now for our fragile economy in Massachusetts, and I think there are places we should look really, really deeply for spending reductions," he said.
But the proposal is simply that, Gregoire said, and there is plenty of discussion and "5,000 bills" currently on the table to be addressed.
"This is simply the governor's plan, the House down the road will come out with their own budget," she said.