Chariho School Parents’ Forum

January 28, 2010

From our friends at ATR

Filed under: National,Stimulus,Tax — Editor @ 5:28 pm




January 28, 2010  


MYTH:   “[My health plan] would give small businesses and uninsured Americans a chance to choose an affordable health care plan in a competitive market.”


FACT:     The Obama-Reid-Pelosi plan would actually increase health premium costs for the uninsured.  The average individual health insurance premium today is $2985 for singles and $6328 for families.  According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the average premium will increase to $5800 for singles and $15,200 for families under the Obama plan by 2016.  This is 10 to 13 percent higher than they would be under current law.  Only those individuals earning less than about $40,000 and families earning less than about $85,000 would receive any tax or spending benefits to even partially-offset this increased cost.  Those earning more than this get no help whatsoever.

                 For small businesses (“small group plans”), today’s average premium is $4155 for singles and $10,956 for families.  Under the Obama-Reid-Pelosi plan, this increases to $7800 for singles and $19,200 for families by 2016, a 1-2 percent increase over current law.  Only about 12 percent of people receiving coverage from their small business employer would benefit from the small business health tax credit.

MYTH:   “[My plan] would require every insurance plan to cover preventive care.”        


FACT:     Under current law, someone can’t wait until they are sick and then sign up for health insurance.  That’s called “gaming the system.”  Insurance only works if healthy people are paying premiums each month, so that when you get sick or go to the doctor, money is there for you.  If healthy people can wait to buy coverage, the entire insurance model falls apart very quickly.  Put simply, “guaranteed issue” would be the death of insurance.


MYTH:   “Our approach would preserve the right of Americans who have insurance to keep their doctor and their plan.”


FACT:     The Obama-Reid-Pelosi plan taxes your current health insurance, if it’s deemed to be a “Cadillac plan.”  It also puts in place minimum coverage requirements in order to remain “qualifying,” which probably will alter your plan.  It probably will make it impossible to design health insurance plans which are HSA-compatible.  Clearly, you simply can’t keep your current plan under this bill.


MYTH:   “According to the Congressional Budget Office – the independent organization that both parties have cited as the official scorekeeper for Congress – our approach would bring down the deficit by as much as $1 trillion over the next two decades.”



FACT:     According to CBO, these cost estimates only pan out if Congress is willing to cut Medicare provider reimbursements, something everyone knows will never happen.  Budget savings based on phony, never-going-to-happen spending cuts are bogus.  This creates an unfunded liability in the program.


MYTH:   “I know that with all the lobbying and horse-trading, this process left most Americans wondering what’s in it for them.”


FACT:     When the American people don’t want a massive plan of this size, margins can get a little tight on Capitol Hill.  That’s why Obama-Reid-Pelosi had to buy off members with the Louisiana Purchase, the Cornhusker Kickback, the Cadillac Compromise, and untold other backroom, closed-door deals.  Back in the campaign, candidate Obama said he would put negotiations on C-SPAN so this could not happen.


MYTH:   “There’s a reason why many doctors, nurses, and health care experts who know our system best consider this approach a vast improvement over the status quo.”


FACT:     One word: money.  The American Medical Association, nursing groups, hospitals, and others are receiving billions in taxpayer subsidies under this bill.


MYTH:   “If anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.”


FACT:     It’s worth pointing out that even President Obama’s own plan will increase premiums, increase the deficit (at least in the real world) even while raising taxes, cover only some of the uninsured (theoretically), cut Medicare, and drive insurance companies totally out of business.  So one might first turn the question back on him.


Can President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and/or Leader Reid use the Internet?  Can their staffs?  It appears not, since this is a common refrain easily refuted.  The fact is, there are dozens of good ideas and several comprehensive plans which have been proposed.  The House Republicans have even aggregated all of them.  Their list doesn’t include the DeMint plan, nor does it include the comprehensive “American Roadmap” government reform plan (including healthcare) of Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.)


August 25, 2009

Hopkinton down another $200k

Filed under: Budget,Hopkinton,Hopkinton Town Council,State-wide,Tax — Editor @ 7:25 pm

h/t RS for posting this link to a list of how much money each town will lose from the Governor’s proposed withholding of the car tax. If you caught my interview on the 6:00 ch 10 news you know I think this is good. The more pressure onto the towns the better. Sooner or later we are going to have to stop paying our public sector employees so much better than the private sector employees.

Hopefully, Hopkinton and all the other towns will look to cut spending rather than increase taxes.

See the list HERE.

If you are unfamiliar with the issue check out this morning’s ProJo article HERE and here is an excerpt:

While the governor can shut down state government on his own, he needs legislative approval for a second piece of his plan: withholding the last $32.5 million in promised car-tax reimbursements to cities and towns, which are already reeling from the elimination of a $55-million revenue-sharing program earlier this year. In short, he wants the lawmakers to restore to him an authority his predecessors had until 1996 to withhold money they have appropriated for a specific purpose

April 26, 2009


Filed under: Hopkinton,Tax — Editor @ 4:29 pm

Does it strike anyone else as odd that we (Hopkinton) will be voting on a $2million dollar bond to purchase land so as to restrict housing developments because they attract young families that have expensive public school students – but then we will also be spending $98,000 to develop “affordable housing” because there is a “shortage” of such houses (that presumably attract families with expensive public school students)?

Look for something in the Sun and Times from me on this issue coming soon.

March 31, 2009

Time to take a stand…

Filed under: Budget,Tax — Editor @ 4:56 pm

May 21, 2008

Thurman Silks LTE in the Westerly Sun

Filed under: Tax — Editor @ 11:09 pm

The Editor
The Westerly Sun

The front page story in the Westerly Sun on Sunday, May 18th headlined “Charlestown pressuring Hopkinton to pay for school improvements” reported the comments of Charlestown politicians and a lawyer keeping up the relentless chant about Hopkinton’s unwillingness to spend money on Chariho.

Your readers would have a better perspective of the decades-long controversy over Chariho funding if they were aware of the basic source of disagreement between the Chariho towns. This has been going on for a long time.

In 1998 the property tax rate for the Chariho District in Charlestown was $8.51 per $1000 assessed valuation for Chariho alone, in Hopkinton it was $13.67 and in Richmond it was $15.44.

That meant that for a $200,000 property, a home owner in Charlestown paid $1702 in taxes for Chariho alone, a Hopkinton homeowner paid $2734, and a Richmond homeowner paid $3088.

Fast forward to 2008. The rate in Charlestown had dropped to $4.81 per $1000 assessed valuation for Chariho alone, Hopkinton was $11.95 and Richmond was $12.75.

That meant that the $200,000 property in Charlestown now pays $970 for Chariho, Hopkinton pays $2390 and Richmond pays $2550.

The good news is that the tax rate went down for everybody. The bad news is that in 1998 both Hopkinton and Richmond property owners paid more than 160% of what Charlestown property owners paid for property of the same value, but in 2008 both Richmond and Hopkinton property owners pay at least 246% of what the Charlestown taxpayer pays. It’s getting worse!

It strikes me as the height of hypocrisy to accuse taxpayers who are already paying at more than twice the Charlestown rate for the schools of not paying for improvements. They already are, and have been for years. They just aren’t being credited for it.

There is one weird aspect to all this. Richmond taxpayers are being treated even more unfairly than Hopkinton taxpayers. But the Richmond Town Council has joined with Charlestown in attacking Hopkinton. Do Richmond taxpayers realize that equalized school taxes would save their Town more than $2 million for their school costs annually? Does their Council?


Thurman Silks
Hopkinton City


December 2, 2007

Taxes, taxes, taxes

Filed under: Tax — Editor @ 9:09 pm

One of the decades long conversations in Chariho is about taxes.  People call it “tax equalization,” “equalized taxes,” “district-wide tax” and probably a few other names.  Two meetings ago, Andy Polouski commented on the issue and said the only way he would consider it was for all towns to throw their state reimbursements into the pool and taxpayers equally pay the balance.  The debates over how to do it are many and likely complicated, but the reason for the problem is simple.  Here is the current tax situation:

Municipal tax rates for each town are as follows:

Charlestown – 7.51 per $1000 of property value
Hopkinton – 14.19 per $1000
Richmond – 14.11 per $1000

If you own a home valued at $300,000, here is the property tax you will pay:

Charlestown – $2253
Hopkinton – $4257
Richmond – $4233

Those tax revenues must also pay for municipal services (police, etc..).  Each town contributes a different percentage of those taxes to Chariho.  A Hopkinton Town Council member just called me with this information.  If someone can find it online, please let me know and I will link it.  But the information will be in the next HTC meeting.

Charlestown contributes 64.5%
Hopkinton contributes 77%
Richmond contributes 88.8%

So, the property taxes sent to Chariho for a $300,000 home in each town are as follows:

Charlestown – $1453
Hopkinton – $3277
Richmond – $3725

I’m not an accountant – and there may be something I am overlooking – if so please let me know and I will update. 

All Chariho residents pay the same for gasoline, bread, milk and a Chevy.  We don’t pay the same for education.  Normally, when a consumer finds that he/she is paying more for a product than someone else, that consumer finds another vendor for that product or service.  Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about it because Chariho has a monopoly.