Hi Massachusetts Media.
Now that we are in campaign season, we want you to have
background on CLT’s support for Question One.
Since we have been the
leading grassroots taxpayer organization for limited
taxation for over thirty years, some assume that we are
the force behind Question 1. In fact, we learned
about it when you did, when the petition was filed.
Though CLT staffers signed the petition and some CLT
activists collected signatures, the credit for getting
this question on the ballot belongs entirely to Carla
Howell and her Committee for Small Government.
Official statements and
campaign material are theirs. CLT has a slightly
different perspective, best expressed by the bumper
sticker we have created for our own activists:
"Hell Yes! Question 1" (the idea courtesy of Peter Blute
on WCRN-AM). Our reasons for supporting Question 1
are listed at the end of this advisory in a memo we sent
to CLT members this month.
There is also the argument
that "the enemy of our enemy is our friend." We
note that the "No on 1" logo, a thumbs down sign, uses
the wrong digit pointing the wrong way. We
taxpayers have often seen a finger from the public
employee unions flashed at us. As usual, they are
spending big money to defeat a ballot question, as they
did with CLT’s Proposition 2˝ and 2000 state income tax
CLT’s Number One enemy,
the Massachusetts Teachers Association, has a quote from
me [Barbara Anderson] on its website, implying that I am opposed to
Question 1 because I recognize that the commonwealth is
already heading for fiscal crisis. "She told
Commonwealth magazine last fall: ‘[It’s] not just
the usual ‘the sky is falling’ that you hear all the
time. This time I think the sky really is going to
So far, accurately quoted.
However, the MTA for some reason neglected to continue
my thought. Commonwealth further wrote, "Anderson
sees it as a spending problem, with communities unable
or unwilling to get a handle on things like public
employee salaries and benefits." I would now add:
maybe a yes vote on Carla’s income tax repeal will help
communities, and Beacon Hill, get that handle.
Without it, duck! -- here comes the sky.
Union leader Bobby Haynes
says that "elimination of the state income tax would be
the end of the commonwealth of Massachusetts as we know
it". (Worcester T&G, 9/1, 2008)
Yes, with any luck.
The commonwealth of Massachusetts "as we know it" needs
to be ended, so a better commonwealth can take its
Citizens for Limited Taxation members
From Barbara Anderson
Question One on the ballot
in November is an initiative petition to repeal the
state income tax over two years. It is not a CLT
initiative: it was created by Carla Howell and her
Committee for Small Government. If it passes on
November 4th, it becomes law: The income tax rate
for Tax Year 2009 will be 2.65%, and for 2010 -- 0%.
This new law can be repealed only by a majority vote in
both the House and Senate, then the governor’s
If anyone asks you why CLT
supports Question One:
1. We have tried
everything else to make the Commonwealth a better place
for taxpayers to live. We have lobbied,
petitioned, campaigned, formed a PAC to support better
legislative candidates, created a website, issued news
releases, done talk radio, and written letters and
columns. We have supported campaigns for tax
limits, tax cuts, term limits, a part-time Legislature,
legislative rules reform, prevailing wage repeal, and
education choice. We have attacked, cajoled,
praised when possible, and pleaded for fiscal
responsibility. We have held it all together for
over thirty years but government in Massachusetts has
reached the point of no accountability. The system
exists not to provide services but to serve itself.
Something has to be done and Question One is the only
game in town: the only way to save the
Commonwealth from its corrupt and irresponsible
politics. We deserve better and Question 1 will
2. We are angry.
Since the "temporary" income tax increase in 1989, we
worked very hard to restore the 5% income tax rate – and
finally succeeded with a "responsible" three year
phased-in rollback passed by the voters in 2000.
The Legislature repealed our roll-back in 2002, leaving
the rate again "temporarily" at 5.3%. If the
politicians won’t keep their promise of 5%, then let’s
go for zero.
3. We envy New Hampshire
with its very different political culture, its part-time
Legislature – due to the absence of not only an income
tax, but a sales tax as well. Though NH property
taxes are 3rd highest per household in the nation, MA is
also high at 8th; and our total per capita state and
local revenues are 5th compared to NH at 47th. Yet
NH services seem to be as good as ours or better.
Eight other states also do not have a personal income
tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, S. Dakota,
Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. Yet they
provide public safety, education, infrastructure.
4. We can use the money.
If there is no income tax, we will have more for
ourselves and our families. We can apply our
income tax money to our health insurance and pensions
plans, instead of supporting extraordinary benefits for
government workers. We can choose to support
charities that do a better, more efficient job than the
state in helping others. We can apply our savings
to our property taxes, thereby helping Gov. Deval
Patrick keep his pledge of "property tax relief."
Check your personal 2007 state tax return to estimate
your savings. If Question 1 passes, you won’t see
that form after 2010.