April 24, 2017 letters to the editor

April 24, 2017 GMT

Tax surcharge is fair

A Herald editorial on the Fair Share Amendment is a vigorous attempt to knock the issue out of focus (“Fuzzy on the tax facts,” April 17). The measure would invest in transportation and public education by creating an additional tax on annual income above $1 million.

The Fair Share Amendment makes no changes to the basic structure of the tax code. It simply says that if a person makes more than $1 million in a single year, they’ll have to pay a bit more — just 4 extra percentage points — on anything over $1 million. Whether that income is from salaries, stocks, bonds or an S-Corp is irrelevant to the current or proposed rate.


In reality, numerous surveys of Massachusetts businesses say their biggest concerns today are the need to maintain our well-educated workforce — and the poor state of our roads, bridges and public transportation. The Fair Share Amendment dedicates the new revenue it raises to educating our young people, making public colleges and universities affordable, and maintaining a reliable transportation system.

These dedicated funds will benefit generations long after the Fair Share amendment’s passage.

— Deb Fastino, co-chair, Raise Up Massachusetts, Boston

Common, overshadowed

The Boston Common symbolizes everything that is right with this country (“Shadow of federal funding doubt,” April 21). And any attempt to modify the state law keeping buildings’ shadows from eating into the Common and the Public Garden symbolizes what is wrong with this country. I am very disappointed that ?Mayor Marty Walsh? is spearheading ?the effort to exempt the Winthrop Square project from the law.

Why can’t the Winthrop Square project be built without casting shadows on the Common? Allowing an exemption for this 775-foot tower would put the city on a slippery slope. You open the door slightly, and what is to stop other developers from doing the exact same thing? You can’t give one developer the green light and not others.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for commerce, healthy businesses and a thriving, growing city. But I am not supporting taking anything away from public space that is sacred to all who visit and live in this great city of Boston.

— Martha Brest, Boston

Budget actions misguided

Congress should not approve any budget that does not maintain funding for Planned Parenthood (“Trump lets states block some Planned Parenthood money,” April 13). Planned Parenthood runs vital health care facilities that deliver a wide range of services. Removing federal support for the organization would devastate the lives of millions of women, and men, across the country.


President Trump’s actions toward Planned Parenthood are only part of his misguided budget plans, which include spending more funds on increased deportation enforcement and detentions. The infrastructure already in place is harmful to our immigrant communities and should be reformed, not emboldened.

There is certainly the money for the country’s health care needs if we don’t waste it. Planned Parenthood helps serve those needs.

— Lisa M. Stapleton, Boxford