Massachusetts voters have spoken, electing a new administration and other constitutional offices. We can’t wait to work with Gov-elect Healey, Lt. Gov-elect Driscoll, AG-elect Campbell, and their new administrations.
Voters also narrowly approved a constitutional amendment to raise the state’s flat income tax rate from 5% to 9% for all earnings exceeding $1 million.
Our chamber and many other business groups opposed Question 1 because we were concerned about the negative impact the tax hike will have on small businesses, competitiveness, and our economy.
But we now hope – and expect – our lawmakers will stick to their promise to invest Question 1's revenues in transportation and education and not use these new dollars to replace money currently allocated to those critical needs.
We'll also be looking to the Legislature to keep its commitment to revisit tax reform -- including needed changes to the estate tax, during the next session.
The state should also invest those billions in unspent tax surplus and stimulus funds to strengthen our economy, invest in affordable housing for our workers, and protect our environment.
Ballot questions: So now what (and when)?
The new Millionaires surtax is effective Jan. 1, 2023.
Question 2, also passed. It requires that Massachusetts dental insurers spend at least 83% of customer premiums on patient care goes starting Jan. 1, 2024.
During her victory speech, Mohl reported that Rausch had “harsh word for Dooley." “We were up against opponents who did not believe in truth or decency, opponents who used almost every dirty tactic in the book against us,” Rausch reportedly told supporters at the James Restaurant in Needham.
Call me old fashioned but I used to prefer the days when winning candidates said nice things about their opponent during their victory speech, even if they didn’t believe it.
Local voters by the numbers
Here’s where you can find the (unofficial) tallies for each of our chamber communities.
It could be another month before we know if the Bulfinch Companies has the green light to transform that barren parking lot along 1-95 into a first-class lab and office development.
The Needham Planning Board is scheduled to resume deliberations on the proposal for the former Muzi Motors car dealership on Tuesday, with a final vote not likely until December.
The proposed Highland Innovation Center would generate approximately $5 million annual net financial benefit to the town (up from less than $500,000 in the Muzi days) on top of building permit, impact fees, personal property taxes, upgraded utilities, and stormwater management.
In many ways, this project builds on Needham’s success on the Newton side of I-95, which has attracted TripAdvisor, Shark Ninja, NBC10, and other first-class employers, but with one significant added bonus: Here the developer has committed to creating a multi-use fitness/access walkway around the property, pickleball courts, seasonal lawn space, and a winter ice skating area, along with restaurant and retail amenities – all items requested by the community -- all for public use.
In addition, Bulfinch would also underwrite substantial multi-modal roadway and transportation improvements to Gould Street, Highland Ave., and Central Ave. that will benefit both residents and our local economy, all proposals that have been independently vetted by traffic studies.
The first community meetings for the project were held in May. The public hearing closed in early October. And now we wait, while this happens.
The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, & Public Policy hosts a Transgender Awareness Week program Monday (Nov. 14) at 6 p.m. (in person and online) on “LGBTQIA+ Representation in the Media.” Details
Needham’s Housing Plan Working Group, established last year to strategically address unmet housing needs, will present its draft report on Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. The presentation will take place at Town Hall and via Zoom. The draft plan and additional materials can be reviewed on the Housing Plan Working Group’s website.
Program hopes to curtail catalytic converter thefts
Watertown Police have launched a unique program to help curb the rash of theft of catalytic converters particularly on older Toyota Priuses.
They’ve teamed up with Toyota of Watertown which will spray paint the words “Property of Watertown Police” at no charge on the part of the car’s exhaust system which has become a target because of their valuable metals.
The idea is to make the devices harder to resell in scrapyards. This video explains the program, what catalytic converters are, and why they're so easy to rip off.
Last year at this time, Olena Reshetnyak was manager of a Marc Cain store in Kharkiv, a city of 1.4 million on the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.
When the Russian attack on Ukraine began, Reshetnyak, like so many others, fled her country with her children. (Her husband, Michael, has been unable to leave permanently because of Ukraine’s wartime policy requiring most men to serve in the military or other capacities).
In February, the store she owned and managed was hit by a Russian bomb, flattening it and much of her city.
Today, Reshetnyak is in Newton, managing the Marc Cain store which opened late last month at The Shops at Chestnut Hill.
The German designer had been eyeing the Boston area for one of its first US stores, and the company seized upon the chance to help Reshetnyak find safety by having her manage the new Marc Cain location, writes Grant Welker at the BBJ.
Opening a store for the same employer while far from home has given her a sense of consistency and direction at a time when she’s been left to watch her home country become engulfed in a war, Welker adds.