(A Marlborough City Councilor asks a question of a chair candidate. – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)

With tax increases being gifted to Republican candidates to run against in 2014, how can the State GOP elect a chair who, as an elected official, voted for budgets that raise taxes in her city?

As the member of the Marlborough City Council, I was elected at 26 and was the youngest Councilor in over 25 years. Since then, I’ve seen three budgets and made many tough funding decisions. I’ve taken many lumps for the decisions I’ve made as a Councilor, but I feel I’ve always fought against raising taxes.  

Ultimately, Marlborough is in great shape financially, in part because of my hard work to keep taxes and spending low. As a locally elected official, my city’s budgets depend greatly on the state budgets, which usually cut local aid while increasing spending, and leaving local officials to explain raising property taxes.

I was upset to learn about Kirsten Hughes’ record as Quincy City Councilor, as she has a record supporting tax increases for her city. In fact, as recently as last year, she supported a budget that increased taxes the maximum amount allowed by law without coming to a city-wide vote.

She supported a budget that raised taxes by 2.5%, which would raise taxes on the average home in Quincy by $110. How can she be the Chair of the MassGOP, when six months ago she supported these massive increases?

I fully understand taking tough votes and the backlash given to Republicans for making tough budget decisions. However, I also know where you can easily cut a budget to save taxpayers money. The city of Quincy is proposing a 20% increase in the city’s “celebration account”, to $90,000. This is to pay for “community events, including performances and holiday decorations.” As a City Councilor, that would be the first place I’d look to cut, not give a 20% increase!

Governor Deval Patrick has given every Republican running for office from state-wide to ward-wide a platform: lowering taxes. There has been a huge backlash from his billion dollar tax increase, and these proposals give every single Republican something to run on.

Can the MassGOP afford to have the face of its organization, its party chair, be someone who has a track record of supporting higher taxes and spending? It completely dismisses our main argument of fiscal responsibility.

Can you imagine John Walsh and Kirsten Hughes “On the Record” together, talking tax increases?

As a member of “the farm team” of the MassGOP, I need someone in the leadership position who supports lower taxes and cutting spending. We need someone who can grow the party from the grassroots level and help us fight for fiscal responsibility.

Matt Elder is a Marlborough City Councilor. Follow him at @CouncilorElder on Twitter

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