Controversy emerges over taxes, free speech in proposed ‘community benefit districts’

A bill allowing the creation of Community Benefit Districts where residents can be taxed to fund local improvements is getting a second look after passing both the House and Senate, amid criticism by groups on both the right and the left of the political spectrum. “Many municipalities are struggling to find resources to help grow their local economy and make neighborhood community improvements,” said Sen. Brendan Crighton, D-Lynn, who sponsored the bill. “We feel that through this community benefit bill, it will empower the community to decide on additional and supplemental services that could help attract more folks to their downtowns, main streets, town centers, etc.”

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