There are only 26 days remaining for opponents of the
income tax rollback and advocates for higher income tax rates to put
their money where their politics are.
When Citizens for Limited Taxation filed the
voluntary income tax check-off bill back in December 2000, we were
reaching out to the 1,055,181 people who’d just voted against Question
4, our income tax rollback that won 59-41% (1,541,771 people voted for
Our opponents’ mantra during that ballot campaign
was that they "don’t need or want a tax cut." They
expressed strong support for paying higher rates, so we wanted to give
them that option when it counted – when they filed their tax returns.
We thought everyone could then be a winner.
Rollback supporters won by paying a lower 5.3% rate; those who voted
against it still could win by continuing to pay the higher 5.85% rate.
CLT’s bill was sponsored by the House Republican
leadership and passed as part of the FY ‘02 state budget.
As of yesterday, according to the Department of
Revenue, only 504 taxpayers have chosen the optional higher tax rate
when they filed their income tax return. The overwhelming majority of
those who voted against the tax rollback – 1,054,677 of them
– have so far rejected the higher tax.
Question 4 supporters are disappointed to see the
rate "frozen" at 5.3% this year instead of dropping to the
rollback’s mandated 5%. Taxes
increased in tax year 2002 as a result of the $1,100 decrease in the
personal exemption, part of "The Biggest Tax Hike in State
Those who voted against our rollback who actually do
"need and want" a tax cut after all are voting "no new
taxes" almost unanimously where it counts.
As we file our tax returns, we of course choose the
5.3% rate. But we wonder what legislators who voted to
"freeze" the rollback, the special interest groups who
habitually lobby for higher taxes, and editorialists who advocate for
them are doing when they reach line 22 on their state income tax forms?
Surely there are more than 504 of them.
Before the insignificant but vocal minority of
advocates for ever-higher taxes are again taken seriously, they should
disclose whether they took advantage of the option provided by CLT –
the voluntary tax check-off.
– 30 –