STATE REP RACE QA Dave Robertson Discusses Taxes Being Responsive To Constituents

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple is asking weekly questions to the seven candidates running in contested primaries for the Wilmington/Tewksbury State Representative seat (19th Middlesex).Below, in his own words, are the responses to this week’s questions from candidate Dave Robertson (D-Tewksbury).#11) Do you feel Massachusetts residents are over-taxed? How will you balance the need to provide government services to the taxpayers & fund the government with most taxpayers’ desire for no tax increases? Can you point to anywhere in the state budget where you believe there is waste, fraud or abuse? What will you do about it?This is a huge question, and could honestly fulfill an entire semester’s worth of classes. Long-story short, yes I believe strongly the middle and lower class is overtaxed. While many might not have read about it, they live an everyday fact; middle and lower class income has fallen in the past year across the entire nation. That means a combination of rising prices of goods, fuel costs, and housing has put a stretch on the working men and women’s dollar. Our federal tax cuts have led to an average return of 18 dollars a week for an average household (while putting our nation even deeper into deficit), and while the economy booms folks aren’t bringing home their piece of the pie they worked towards building.Massachusetts is fortunate that we’ve experienced bipartisan work between a Democratic legislature and Republican governorship in the previous years that has revolutionized some forms of government. The Baker administration, as well as Speaker DeLeo and the Senate have moved to work with departments to streamline and adjust procedures. Such investments include the combination of MassHealth computer systems to alleviate backlog and pool information into one stable platform, working across agencies to share information such as tax returns to verify systems, or using electronic tolling points to save on overhead. As a legislator, I find that saving dollars here can be extremely beneficial, and can be used to further invest in things that benefit everyone or ultimately can be returned to the taxpayer.Now we face a conundrum; with lower expected federal aid for schools, roads, and more how do we continue being among the best in the nation for education, healthcare, and economic growth? I believe that the far fringes of the upper class should be held more liable, and give a break to the middle and lower class. It is actually an economic myth that the upper-class creates jobs, as they invest in safe investments such as treasury bills and blue-chip stocks. Contrary to the economic truths of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s it is now actually the upper-middle and middle class who are the most likely to risk their own capital and time in businesses and products. Now how can they do that in Massachusetts, where a highly skilled and educated population stands ready? By encouraging small and mid-size businesses with tax incentives, and cutting the tax burden on the lower 70% of folks and shifting it to the higher end.As for where does fraud, waste, and more exist? Well, that is a list hundreds of potential areas long, but voters should be aware of ways that I could support finding it. MassHealth, for example, has been researching a program that would sporadically check bank accounts and other financial information to ensure compliance within the program, as have other state agencies. Programs that are automated and can cross verify thousands of folks a day need to be implemented to ensure that fraudulent individuals don’t slide by our checks. In addition, a legislator needs to support the Bureau of Special Investigation, which handles welfare fraud and investigations, which is a department I have worked with before to close on benefits abusers. In addition, I believe the state can increase proof of residency requirements, including the prohibition of out of state spending of EBT cards, health insurance benefits, and more without prior authorization. This would single-handily deal a large blow to those using public money incorrectly, and I would be happy to propose such a bill. Many years ago another bill, which was in my opinion well-needed and founded, would bar the use of cash for EBT purchases and allow oversight on spending use to ensure such cards were not used for improper purchases. It was not ultimately signed by a former gubernatorial administration, but was a step in the right direction to me.#12) Former State Representative Jim Miceli was known through the district for his extraordinary constituent services. Do you pledge to provide a similar level of constituent services if elected? How will you be responsive to requests for help from residents of Wilmington and Tewksbury?As the candidate who best knows the power of constituent services, as I ran the services under Representative Miceli, of course I would pledge to provide the same level of service as before.Constituent services is a combination of knowing exactly what programs are available, who runs them, and most importantly, a dedication to keeping oneself involved in a case. Representative Miceli always made sure he knew of where and how a case was going, and was not afraid to call a Secretary or Director of a department if those further down the chain of command were not resolving an issue.Of course, not every issue is resolvable, but it is required of a Representative to involve themselves in every issue and fight for the problem that only one voter, one family, or one street might be having.Over the years I have helped hundreds, if not thousands under the direction of Representative Miceli. From resolving insurance issues, to helping locate housing, to even finding out why mail deliveries to one street were chaotic I have the deepest and longest experience. I have helped fetch lost court records, and even had passports and licenses rushed to travelers stranded abroad. Residents of the district came first, but it was not rare for us to help those who lived in town for years and moved, as they were people in need of help as well. Representative Miceli had a great quote about constituent services, as he used to say “We’re in the yes business.” We would be upfront and honest about the reality facing a constituent, and give every problem our best attempt to resolve it, but we would never turn anyone down.Voters can’t afford a Representative who doesn’t know the services available from the state, or who knows who runs it but not the programs, applications, or qualifications behind such services. Voters cannot afford someone who is solely legislatively focused, or else our friends, neighbors, and even ourselves may be at a loss when facing a problem. There is only one candidate in this primary who has been in the trenches, who has stayed the odd hours, and has the mastery of what is available from being on the phones when someone has reached the end of the rope before, and that is me.(NOTE: Do you have a question for the candidates? Email and it may be asked in a future Q&A or in a debate.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTATE REP RACE: Tewksbury Republican Committee Attack Robertson Over Wilmington Democratic Committee Chair’s StatementIn “Government”STATE REP RACE Q&A: Pina Prinzivalli Discusses Taxes, Being Responsive To ConstituentsIn “Government”Robertson Reports Robocalls & Social Media Campaign About Him Are Misleading; Mass. Fiscal Alliance RespondsIn “Government”last_img

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