Thursday, January 26, 2006
If at first you don’t
succeed, try, try again
One statewide taxpayer group, four Republican
governors with their lieutenant governors, a series of Republican
state legislators not counting Sen. Richard Tisei, and 1,541,771
voters have tried to keep the Legislature’s 1989 promise that the
income tax rate increase would be “temporary.”
We have managed to get the temporary rate hike down from 5.75% to 5.3%
over sixteen years. In his new budget, Governor Romney assumes a 5.15%
rate for tax year 2007, and states his intent that the rate will
finally reach 5% in 2008.
With last year’s official state surplus of $1.654 billion, this year’s
half billion surplus (so far), a record amount in the “rainy day”
fund, and plans to increase state spending by another billion-plus,
it’s time to have completed the rollback yesterday. However, the
Legislature has refused to keep its most recent, 2002 promise that the
rollback would resume rolling when the latest fiscal crisis was over.
So the governor has offered a compromise.
CLT recognizes the reality of the Legislature’s unwillingness to keep
its word and eagerness to keep our money. So we support the governor’s
compromise and hope this issue will soon be behind us as the income
tax rate is restored to its traditional 5 percent.
We note that opponents use the excuse of increasing property taxes to
resist the rollback. CLT, having created Proposition 2½, takes second
place to none in its dislike of the property tax, and notes that most
rollback opponents, most notably the so-called
Taxpayers Foundation (MTF) and Mass. Municipal Association, didn’t
and don’t like Prop 2½ either. What they like is more government
taxing and spending, period.
Imagine a taxpayer foundation, so-called, that considers a tax cut to
be government spending! Yet MTF keeps referring to the state’s
inability to “afford” to let us keep more of our own money – as if the
state somehow earned it and owns it, and we have to justify keeping
We support more local aid, since our goal is getting education off the
property tax altogether. We wish there were some way to assure that
the education aid goes to improved education and “the children.” But
since both our state and local taxes are used for pay-raises and
extraordinary benefits for the teachers unions, we think we should get
our own pay-raise by way of an income tax cut, ASAP.
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