NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
MR. CAPPOLA: Good evening. My name is Michael Cappola, I'm the Chairman of the Foxboro Board of Selectmen, a community in Massachusetts with about 16,000 people and the proud hosts of the New England Patriots.
I support the Massachusetts State Lottery, as you'll probably hear most community members and officials of communities because of the kinds of revenues it brings to communities that do have the restriction of Proposition 2® the tax limiting law in the State of Massachusetts. We received, last year, for instance, we received a little over a million dollars, that went into some very needed things in a community like Foxboro. And it runs the gamut from police and fire, to schools, to Council on Aging, to all the things that normally go on in a community in the State of Massachusetts.
I think it's important to realize, in Foxboro and I'm sure in many other communities, we are relying less and less on property taxes to fund the operations of our community. In Foxboro, 40 percent of our income is not from real estate taxes. So all of a sudden, these kinds of revenues, revenues from the Mass. Lottery, are really important to us.
You know, as a town official I have a concern, as I think most people do, about the compulsive gambling part of this whole discussion. And I think the speaker before me certainly pointed out that Massachusetts has a wonderful program in that regard, in the Mass. Council on Compulsive Gambling. And I think if you put it in perspective, you realize that for every compulsive gambler there are thousands who are not compulsive gamblers, who enjoy that particular activity of their day or week.
In Massachusetts, and in Foxboro in particular, we realize that people are going to gamble, whether we have a law or not. And I would like to see it continue as a legal entity. I grew up in Boston and I remember when everybody would play the numbers and all we were doing then was supporting the racketeers. This gives us an opportunity to allow everyone to partake in this particular activity and at the same time bring back to the communities the kind of things we need.
So, maybe I see it a little more because I am a town official and because I am struggling on an annual basis with our budgets, as most communities and Foxboro are. And it's really important to us in the State of Massachusetts to realize that the Lottery does bring that money back to us and I would just like to go on record as supporting the Massachusetts Lottery. I think it's a model for the country and I would like to preserve it.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Thank you.