A Ballot Committee of
Citizens for Limited Taxation & Government
PO Box 408 * Peabody, MA 01960
Phone:(617) 248-0022 * E-Mail:
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*** Promise Update ***
Tuesday, February 10, 1998


Tonight is the deadline for everyone who’s been good enough to help us find more signatures that *should have been* certified by the city and town clerks *but weren’t*. We’re pulling close to the 2,000 we hope to present to the court, but are still working toward it.

We *must* have them by this evening. Tomorrow we will be putting together the court documents, and will be in Middlesex Superior Court on Friday morning.

It’s these folks who are still laboring on our initiative, and those who actually went out and did the grunt work of collecting signatures in September and October and November, that the rest of the taxpayers will owe *big time* when our question gets on the ballot, their income tax is cut, and they find more money in their pockets that they didn’t lift a finger to put there.

"Never have so many owed so much to so few."

Senate President Tom Birmingham has joined with House Speaker Tom Finneran to lead the Beacon Hill revisionists, the Boston press reported over last weekend. Birmingham, who at first noted that the 1989 income tax rate hike had indeed been temporary, now has been convinced that it wasn’t—and has his own politically-motivated tax-cut proposal.

We’ve posted on our World Wide Web Page our collage of 1989 news reports in which a number or legislators—from their own mouths—recognized that the tax hike was "temporary," supposedly only for 18 months, and necessary only to bail-out the state from its fiscal crisis. Don’t just take our word for it -- *take theirs!* You can find and download the Adobe Acrobat PDF file it at:

The senate’s chief hypocrite wants to increase the personal exemption thereby returning to each taxpayer an equal amount of tax refund. But when they "temporarily" *raised* our income tax rate, they raised the rate across the board on everyone, regardless of income level. If you earned $25,000 you paid the same rate as if you earned $50,000 -- but if you earned $50,000 you paid *twice as much income tax!*

And the chief senate hypocrite last year rammed through with no roll call vote a huge increase in the surplus revenue "rainy day" stabilization fund (raising its ceiling from $350 million to $850 million before the automatic increase in personal exemptions kicks in), thereby dramatically cutting the size of the tax refund you otherwise would be entitled to on the tax returns you’re now filing!

He took it away from you last year so he can now propose doing you a *big favor* and giving it back as a "new" tax cut! Talk about "shell games"! How stupid do they think we are?

Chip Ford—


The Boston Herald
Tuesday, February 10, 1997

Lead Editorial: Birmingham and reality

Senate President Tom Birmingham is still a captive of class-warfare battles.

His proposed tax cut refuses to acknowledge that tax *rates* create powerful incentives to save or spend, work or not work, stay or move.

The $2,200 personal exemption has been eaten away by inflation and is definitely too small. Doubling the exemption, as Birmingham proposes, would put $262 in the pockets of a couple filing jointly.

But making a doubled exemption the *only* tax cut, as Birmingham would do, leaves the state taking almost 6 cents on every dollar of income *after* exemptions, abnormally high in Massachusetts history, and 12 cents on every extra dollar of investment income—almost punishment for saving.

It’s nonsense to think these rates are not important for incentives, because they are applied on top of federal rates.

The high state income tax rate, 5.95 percent, was to be "temporary" when set in 1989. Redeeming that promise ought to be the starting point for any more discussion.

Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, borrowed class-warfare rhetoric to name his "Working Families First" plan. But he could have taken the substance from Citizens for Limited Taxation and Government (sponsor of a ballot question, now in the courts, that parallels acting Gov. Paul Cellucci’s proposals).

In addition to doubling the exemption, Harshbarger called for bringing down the tax rate first to 5.25 percent, then to the pre-1989 rate of 5 percent if revenues permit, and cutting the investment income rate to the rate on wages.

We favor Cellucci’s cuts, but Harshbarger’s also recognize the realities of economics. Birmingham’s don’t.

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