and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

November 4, 2010

Thirty years ago, Citizens for Limited Taxation placed Proposition 2˝ on the ballot for voter approval. We collected the first round of voter signatures in the fall of 1979, waited for the inevitable legislation rejection (155-5 in the House) in May, then collected more signatures and placed the petition on the November ballot.

The campaign was intense: CLT and its allies the Massachusetts High Technology Council, the Massachusetts branch of the National Federation of Independent Business, and the Massachusetts Auto Dealers against the entire political, educational, and Big Business establishment. On November 4, the same night that Ronald Reagan was elected President, we won 59-41 and the rest is, literally, Massachusetts history.

Proposition 2˝ cut property taxes in communities with tax rates higher than 2.5 percent of fair market value, then limited increases to 2˝ percent a year; cut the auto excise rate from $66.00 per thousand assessed value to $25.00 per thousand; forbade unfunded state mandates on the cities and towns; repealed two existing mandates for school board fiscal autonomy and compulsory binding arbitration for police and fire unions; created the Division of Local Services in the Department of Revenue and the Division of Local Mandates under the state Auditor.

Prop 2˝ is a law, subject to repeal by the Legislature, not a constitutional amendment like California’s Proposition 13. Nobody, including us, thought that we would be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2005. CLT thanks the voters for their 1980 decision, and appreciates the support of Governors Ed King, Bill Weld, Paul Cellucci, Jane Swift and Mitt Romney – and enough legislators to sustain gubernatorial vetoes over the years.

In its 29th year, 2010, Proposition 2˝ once again came under attack to weaken it. Again CLT and its allies were able to fend off the tax-borrow-and-spenders' assault.

Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Proposition 2˝
November 4, 1980 – November 4, 2010

CLT Saves Proposition 2˝ Again - 30 Years Later
House leadership attacks Proposition 2˝; Urges major tax hike (Apr 21, 2010)
CLT's 'prevent defense' winning another one for Prop 2˝ (Apr 23, 2010)
Taxpayers demand a Section 8 discharge for stealth tax (Apr 25, 2010)
Taxpayers win a big one; CLT saves Proposition 2˝ again! (Apr 27, 2010)

More news and commentary on CLT's latest taxpayer win (Apr 29, 2010)

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

A report on the effects of Prop 2˝ on actual property taxpayers
after twenty-five years of success
[PDF file]
Released:  October 31, 2005

Proposition 2˝ and the Auto Excise Tax  [PDF file]
By Citizens Economic Research Foundation
and Citizens for Limited Taxation

Proposition 2˝ 20 Years Later  [PDF file]
Prepared by Lane & Company
for Citizens Economic Research Foundation
and Citizens for Limited Taxation in 2001

The Odd Proposition
After 15 years, Proposition 2˝ Endures as the State’s Most Unlikely Reform
By Dave Denison
MassINC, Commonwealth Magazine - Summer 1996

A Tale of Eight Cities & Towns
Prop 2˝ Yields Different Results in Different Places
By David Tyler
MassINC, Commonwealth Magazine - Summer 1996

A Visit With Barbara Anderson
At home with the state's leading anti-tax activist
By Dave Denison
MassINC, Commonwealth Magazine - Summer 1996

Massachusetts makes a comeback  [PDF file]
What is responsible for the state's amazing turnaround?
Would you believe Proposition 2˝?

By Charles Kenney
Boston Globe Magazine - May 18, 1986

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Levy Limits ...
But Were Afraid to Ask: A Primer on Proposition 2˝
[PDF file]
By the Department of Revenue, Division of Local Services

Levy Limits: A Primer on Proposition 2˝  [PDF file]
By the Department of Revenue, Division of Local Services