and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Tax Freedom Day is earlier this year
Mass. 4th-latest in the nation

For Immediate Release: Or save for tax filing deadline stories on April 15th!

Taxpayers this year have something even more than religious holidays and spring to celebrate this coming weekend. According to the Washington-based Tax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day 2004 for the United States of America is Sunday, April 11th.

Of course, in Massachusetts Tax Freedom Day comes over a week later, on April 18th. Our date is the fourth-latest in the nation this year. But we are doing a bit better than last year, when we were second-latest in the country on April 19th, and much better than in 2000, when we were fourth-latest on May 2nd. We’re happy that CLT’s income tax rollback helped move our date.

The Tax Foundation has been tracking federal, state and local taxes for the last 66 years. According to its website,, "Tax Freedom Day is the day when Americans will finally have earned enough money to pay off their total tax bill for the year. Every dollar that’s officially called income by the government is counted, and every payment to the government that is officially considered a tax is counted. Taxes at all levels of government are included, whether levied by Uncle Sam or state and local governments."

Most Mass. liberals refuse to voluntarily pay more to the state

Those who might wish for a Tax Freedom Day that extends into the summer are missing their opportunity to contribute through CLT’s voluntary tax check-off on their state income tax form. Our concept for tax volunteerism, which was adopted by House Republicans and supported by the Legislature in its FY2003 budget, gives opponents of our 2000 income tax rollback a chance to pay at the old 5.85 percent income tax rate instead of the present 5.3 percent.

The 1,055,181 voters who opposed our rollback asserted that they "didn’t need or want it," and we made sure that they didn’t have to take it either. As of today, April 7th, only 579 taxpayers have chosen the higher rate and paid an additional $62,239. Many more apparently needed and wanted a tax cut than voted for it.

Capital Gains tax hike

By the way, yesterday’s SJC decision to require the capital gains tax hike that passed in May of 2002 – despite the 1994 quid pro quo deal that provided a 55 percent legislative pay hike in exchange for the capital gains tax cut – to take effect on the first day of January in either 2002 or 2003, should not take effect at the earlier date. A commonwealth that is trying to attract businesses and investors should never be caught doing retroactive tax rate hikes, thereby sending the message that you can’t make intelligent decisions in Massachusetts because we keep changing the rules – moving the goal post after you’ve punted.

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