News: Governor signs tax legislation to help reservists
Story by Sgt. James Lally
QUINCY, Mass. — Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation that permits the City of Quincy to grant property tax abatements to members of the Massachusetts National Guard and reservists for the periods they were on active duty outside the U.S. at the City Council Chambers in Quincy, Mass., Feb. 24.
Kevin Coughlin, Quincy City Council President, petitioned the idea and the Quincy City Council approved it. State Sen. Michael Morrissey was the lead sponsor at the State House but Reps., Bruce Ayers, Stephen Tobin, and Ron Mariano all signed on.
After Patrick signed the legislation, Coughlin said, "It's just a small way of saying thank you for your service. Hopefully it's something that we are also going to make statewide. Quincy has done it and the push is on to make this and local option to every city and town across the Commonwealth as a way of saying thank you," said Coughlin.
Depending on individual circumstances, the abatements may be retroactive back to the fiscal year 2002 and the City may continue the program through the fiscal year 2010, with an option for the city council to vote to extend it further.
Before he signed the bill, Patrick expressed his motivations to an audience of veterans who were there to witness the event. Doing so, Patrick referred to a recent send-off ceremony for members of the Massachusetts Army National Guard saying, "I am so struck, over and over again by how ordinary people undertake the extraordinary. They choose to put themselves in harms way for the rest of us and they set aside their own plans, their own ambitions, their own lives to go for reasons of patriotism. It's a humbling thing and let me tell you, it gives me more than pleasure to be able to sign this bill or to do anything else that I can to honor your service," said Patrick.