By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Raj makes the Herald

Dan Gillmor coined the oft-quoted citizen-journalism aphorism “My readers know more than I do.”

Casey Ross of the Boston Herald certainly thinks it’s true when it comes to Media Nation. In today’s “Monday Morning briefing,” Ross dips into this blog for some wisdom on Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposal to let cities and towns raise certain local taxes, such as the meals tax:

The blogosphere was busy this weekend assessing the governor’s budget and tax proposals. While legislative leaders have resisted his proposal for local-option meals taxes, others don’t see what the fuss is about. One blogger on Dan Kennedy’s Media Nation wrote: “The stranglehold by the state on local mechanisms for raising revenue is ridiculous. I’m from the midwest, and local-option taxes are the primary means by which they raise revenue, not the property tax.”

Nice going, Raj.

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  1. Anonymous

    Okay, congrats, but I’m a little troubled by the increasing quoting of blog postings without real attribution in papers, like the NYT did last week with its front page story on blogging debtors last weekend. It’s lazy, for one thing but also,how do we really know who these people are and whether what they say is accurate? Would editors allow this kind of standard on quoting, say, anonymous sources? I think not!Couldn’t the reporter have dug around and found out whether this is actually true in the Midwest?

  2. mike_b1

    I agree with anon 9:03. I spent 7+ post-college years in Chicago, and property taxes there were much higher than in Boston, while the state income tax was (at the time) 2.5 percentage points (not %, mind you) less.

  3. Anonymous

    Kewl ;-)–raj

  4. Peter Porcupine

    WHERE in the midwest? It’s a big place. I agree with Mikeb1 – I have family there, too, and that isn’t their experience (Kansas/Oklahoma).To be fair, I’m sure Raj wasn’t expecting a casual remark to get picked up like this.

  5. Anonymous

    I may have exaggerated regarding the amount of local revenue that comes from local option taxes available to cities, towns, counties and unincorporated areas (yes there are such) in the midwest, but it is clear that the mix of local option taxes (sales, income, and even intangibles taxes–i.e., taxes on intangible property) that is available to taxing authorities–including unincorporated areas–in the midwest without explicit state authorization is far less restrictive than in the state of Massachusetts. I could regale you with my experience in Cincinnati and the Hamilton County in which it resides.In other words, I stand by my statment. The stranglehold by the state of Massachusetts on local mechanisms for rasing revenue is ridiculous.–raj

  6. Rick in Duxbury

    Raj,I’m sure you know your history. This is a melding of paranoia by 19th century Yankees in the power struggle with immigrants, combined with crooked Boston ward healers who validated those concerns. There’s a reason Boston gets its liquor licenses from the state; they proved themselves incapable of doing it for themselves. We are a long way off from metropolitan funding of education, for example. Try to get the good burghers of Andover to be part of regional funding of Lawrence schools; they see nothing in it for themselves. The town meeting form of government is stubbornly retained since the 1600’s by most MA towns. This provincial attitude is what makes us the Louisiana of the North.

  7. Heather B

    After Dan highlighted Raj’s comment, I drew from it too (see comments in post below). So, thanks Raj for your insight and opinion, strictly verifiable or not. the use of a unattributable comment in the “paper,” from what I could tell this was cited in a blog, not the “paper,” therefore it shouldn’t necessarily have to hold itself to some mysteriously higher standard. These standards are evolving… The point is that it was a comment in a discussion, and people can form their own opinions from there.

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