Memo to the Massachusetts House
April 25, 2005
Re: House Budget
It has been sixteen years since the Legislature passed a “temporary”
income tax rate increase. During the strong revenue years of the 90's,
with their annual budget surpluses, legislators refused to honor the
promise that the rate would be restored to 5 percent. Finally, in
November 2000, voters passed the income tax rollback by 59-41 percent.
In early 2002, having spent itself into another fiscal crisis – the
state budget doubled since the “temporary” tax passed in 1989 – the
Legislature “froze” the rate at 5.3 percent, insisting that voters
hadn’t realized in 2000 how much the extra money was needed. But in
November 2002, 45 percent of voters tried to repeal the income tax
As state revenues once again increase, and the state carries yet another
surplus, it is long past time to “keep the promise” and restore the
income tax rate to its traditional 5 percent. Citizens for Limited
Taxation, which collected signatures and campaigned for the 2000
rollback, has filed a bill to restore the rate for the present tax year.
However, we support Governor Romney’s proposal to restore the rate for
tax year 2006.
We hope you will vote for Rep. Jeff Perry’s budget amendment #774 to
keep the promise, respect the voters, and restore the income tax rate to
5 percent for this new fiscal year.
We also support Rep. Perry’s amendment #126, to remove language giving
taxpayer-subsidized in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. By
definition, there are not supposed to be illegal immigrants.
Law-breaking certainly should not be rewarded, as that will only invite
more. We too support legal immigration and are happy to welcome
newcomers who play by the rules. But while we understand that millions
of people all over the world would like to live here and send their
children to college at taxpayers’ expense, this is obviously not
possible: a line must be drawn somewhere. It should be drawn with a vote
Aside from this issue, the Ways & Means Committee budget is commended
for not using outside sections to initiate policy issues during the
We are opposed to any amendment that will create a new tax, such as
applying the sales tax to electronically transferred software.
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