LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Let Voters Decide Whether to Fund Stormwater Management Mandate by Tax Instead of Fee

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It seems that there are some folks in Westford who want to assess a “fee” for the wastewater federal mandate, instead of a tax.

Obviously, a fee implies the ability to choose whether to incur it. For instance I can choose to buy a fishing license or not and pay the fee.

This is clearly a tax, and I am sure any effort to call it a fee will be viewed by many in Westford as a ruse to prevent citizens from exercising their right to approve or deny an additional tax. I am also pretty sure that a fee will be challenged, and it will probably lose, requiring any fees to be refunded, a mess that I am sure you will want to avoid.

Those who are calling for a fee may not realize that they are showing a clear contempt for the ability of voters to make their own decisions, along with a lack of respect for taxpayers dollars.

I realize that putting a tax increase in front of the voters will require work on the part of those advocating it to sell it, but that’s how it needs to work. In that case, either the voters will be convinced and approve it, or deny it, leading to how or whether to fund the mandate in some other manner.

I hope you will all make the right decision, respecting taxpayers monies and voters right to determine their own fate.

It’s a rain tax, not a rain fee. — Dan Doherty, Westford, MA