and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tax Freedom Day, 2006:
Massachusetts taxpayers work longer for government

The Washington-based Tax Foundation has released its annual Tax Freedom Day and comparative state tax burden report today. Once again, Massachusetts taxpayers are shown to pay more than taxpayers in most other states.

Tax Freedom Day, nationally, falls on April 26. Here in Massachusetts, we work until May 2 solely for our federal, state and local governments before we can start to work for ourselves. This is the sixth-latest Tax Freedom Day in the country, after Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Washington, and Minnesota.

The Massachusetts state and local per capita tax burden is sixth-highest in the nation. Relative to personal income, our burden is 28th, but this is small comfort to those of us who don’t have a lot of that personal income! Our commonwealth taxes more for every man, woman and child than 44 other states.

This is yet another reason for the Massachusetts Legislature to keep its 1989 promise that the income tax hike would be only "temporary," and finally roll back the income tax rate to 5 percent.

Another reason is that with the proposed $1.4 billion increase in the FY’07 budget, the state budget will have doubled since 1989.

And the best reason, the 2000 ballot campaign, in which an initiative petition to rollback the rate to 5% passed with 59% of the vote. The Legislature froze the roll back at 5.3%, with a further promise to continue it when the economy picked up. The Legislature can keep the promise during the upcoming budget debate, which will begin while we are still working to pay more for government than taxpayers in most other states.

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