Post Office Box 408
Peabody, Massachusetts 01960 (508) 384-0100
Wednesday, January 13, 1999
As if we need any more proof of the need for a tax cut beyond the burgeoning state
revenue surplus, now comes the release of a report highlighting Massachusetts as the most
profligate spender of any New England state.
The American Legislative Exchange Council just issued the following analysis of
state spending as a relation to personal income, and found:
"Since 1996, the New England states, with the exception of
Massachusetts, have exhibited a return to fiscal discipline, reducing state spending as a
share of personal income.
"Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine have exhibited the most
dramatic turnaround. All three began the period as profligate states, spending more than
10 percent of residents' income. Since 1996, however, all three have cut the share of
personal income consumed by government.
"In Massachusetts, however, state spending continues to outpace the
growth in personal income. Since 1994, state spending as a share of personal income
increased more than 28 percent."
A full copy of the report is available by link, below.
Chip Ford --
The Boston Herald
Wednesday, January 13, 1999
Income tax rate needs fixing now
A Boston Herald editorial
Gov. Paul Cellucci's income tax cut proposal couldn't come at a
A Report Card on Fiscal Policy released yesterday by the respected
American Legislative Exchange Council, the nation's largest bipartisan association of
state legislators, gave Massachusetts a failing grade for fiscal discipline. The Bay State
earned its "F" based on how much of "residents' income is consumed by state
The report noted that since 1994, Massachusetts spending as a share
of personal income increased more than 28 percent. All other New England states won praise
for fiscal discipline. Maine even won an "A" rating. And many states ended up
with surpluses similar to the one our Legislature was so eager to spend at the end of
"Budget surpluses are preferable to budget deficits," said
Michael Flynn, director of the task force that issued the report, noting that over the
past four years states collected $74 billion "more than needed to maintain current
levels of public service."
"These surpluses are largely due to dysfunctional tax systems
that capture greater shares of personal income as the economy expands," Flynn added.
So what part of that doesn't Senate President Tom Birmingham
The Cellucci proposal to lower the income tax rate from 5.95 percent
to a flat 5 percent isn't just about returning money to taxpayers. It's also
about fixing a system that is taking too much from their pockets to begin with. And the
debate that follows during this legislative session shouldn't be about who has a better
plan for redistributing income via a tax cut - the route thus far taken by Birmingham -
but about repairing that dysfunctional system.
Tax rates do matter. They matter not just to average
taxpayers but to companies making expansion or relocation decisions. And this state's
income tax rate needs an overhaul.
report is in Adobe Acrobat format.
For a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader, click below.
Click above to visit the American Legislative
1998 Report Card on
Fiscal Policy in the States
NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.
section 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
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