Old Colony Elderly Services Explains Question 1 on November 4th Ballot For Elders, Caregivers and Their Families

Released on: October 21, 2008, 5:29 pm

Press Release Author: Old Colony Elderly Services

Industry: Non Profit

Press Release Summary: In response to a large number of inquiries about how Question
1 on the Massachusetts November 4th ballot could affect services to elders,
caregivers and their families, Old Colony Elderly Services, Inc. (OCES) has compiled
valuable information to help voters make an educated decision.

Press Release Body:
OCES is a private, non-profit Aging Services Access Point (ASAP) that provides
valuable programs and services to seniors, their families and caregivers in the
Plymouth county, Avon, Easton and Stoughton area.

Question 1 proposes a law to reduce the state personal income tax rate to 2.65% as
of January 1, 2009 and to eliminate the tax beginning January 1, 2010. A "yes" vote
will enact these reductions; a "no" vote will make no change to the state's income
tax laws.

OCES employs 130 staff and provides services to more than 4,600 elders, caregivers
and families each month. These services include home health aide, personal care and
medical transportation that are vital to many home-bound, frail elders in our
communities. In addition, every month we respond to more than 600 inquiries for
information and referral, perform 150 long-term care screenings and deliver
approximately 23,000 lunches through the meals-on-wheels program.

According to most reports, the income tax produces $12.5 billion, or 40%, of the
entire state budget. If OCES' budget is reduced by 40%, we will be forced to
decrease services to some of our most vulnerable citizens and eliminate jobs. This
could mean that 1,800 elders will lose home care services, 9,000 meals will not be
delivered and at least 50 employees will lose their jobs.

Elders already impacted by the high costs of fuel and food are wondering how they
will manage on fixed incomes. The workforce is trying to balance these costs too
while watching their commuting costs increase and their savings and home values
decrease. With state funding to cities and towns reduced, localities may raise
property taxes and impose other fees, thereby placing another burden on homeowners -
including elders and others on fixed incomes.

According to analysis by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the estimated 40%
budget reduction is too low. They contend that "after accounting for five legally
mandated programs, the rest of state government would bear across-the-board cuts of
71.1% with the loss of $12.5 billion in state income tax revenue". Private,
non-profit agencies like OCES will be unable to continue providing needed human
services after that level of funding cut.

"I urge registered voters to learn all they can about the impacts of Question 1 so
they may make informed decisions before casting their votes on November 4th," said
Diana L. DiGiorgi, Executive Director of OCES.

To read the full version of this proposed law and the other 2 ballot questions,
visit www.mass.gov and click on the Secretary of State's page, select Elections
Division and then 2008 Statewide Ballot Questions.

About Old Colony Elderly Services
Incorporated in 1974, Old Colony Elderly Services (OCES) is one of 27 private,
non-profit Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs) in the Commonwealth of

OCES serves elders, their families and caregivers in the towns of Abington, Avon,
Bridgewater, Brockton, Carver, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Easton, Halifax, Hanover,
Hanson, Kingston, Lakeville, Marshfield, Middleboro, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton,
Rockland, Stoughton, Wareham, West Bridgewater and Whitman.

The organization's mission is to provide services that support the dignity and
independence of elders by helping them maximize their quality of life; live safely
and in good health; and, prevent unnecessary or premature institutionalization.

The agency has 130 employees and operates more than 12 programs serving elders,
their families and caregivers. For more information call (508) 584-1561 or visit
the website at www.oc-elderly.org

Web Site: http://www.oc-elderly.org

Contact Details: Brockton, MA
Lucille Dallaire

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