May 2, 2014 5:38PM

More Spending without New Taxes?

Wellesley, Mass., the town I live in, sent residents this message earlier today:

In April 2014, the Wellesley Annual Town Meeting approved … the acquisition of property at 494 Washington Street… A few citizens, determined to derail the acquisition, obtained sufficient signatures to put a referendum on the ballot requiring voters to confirm the Town Meeting vote.


A YES vote on Question 1 … confirms the action taken by Town Meeting… 


There is NO tax increase associated with this vote; the acquisition will be financed using short‐​term debt under the levy.

Sentences like that last one are enough to make an economist’s head explode. Why? Because more debt‐​financed expenditure now means higher taxes later. It’s that simple.