and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

September 13, 2006

Phony Democrat support for the CLT Rollback

Citizens for Limited Taxation took a solemn oath in 1989 to hold politicians to their promise that the Dukakis income tax increase would be temporary.  We have kept OUR promise.

When they refused to honor theirs in eleven years, we placed the rollback of that "temporary" tax hike on the 2000 ballot, and the voters passed it 59-41.  The Legislature froze it in 2002, "temporarily."

We continued to keep our promise, despite noticing that some reporters had begun rolling their eyes when we and Governor Romney or Lt. Gov. Healey have a news conference on the subject.

Kerry Healey supported the 2000 ballot question and never wavered from that support.  She presently supports an immediate return to the traditional 5% rate.

Our patience was rewarded when the rollback became the primary issue in the Democrat primary.  Tom Reilly jumped on board the immediate rollback in December Ď05, sixteen years after the promise was made, five years after the voters ordered it.  We canít afford to poll but we knew this meant his campaign was polling and had learned that the voters still want the 5% rate they mandated.

This, by the way, was two years after the state budget had turned from deficit to surplus.  Yet Reilly didnít care what the voters said until he decided the issue might work for him in his campaign for governor.  Weíre not buying what has become, for him, a political deathbed conversion.

Deval Patrick at least seemed to be honest with the voters:  he didnít care about any promise, initiative petition, or voter mandate, making it clear he would never support dropping the 5.3% rate.  Now that polls are clearly showing Democrat primary voters support the rollback, his mind has opened to the possibility in the remote future.  We donít buy that either.  Nor do we buy his reason, that it would be better to cut property taxes.  We havenít seen any proposal from him to cut any tax, anywhere, anytime.  Giving cities and town more local aid wonít cut the property tax; it will just give them more money to build their fixed costs, required more Prop 2 Ĺ overrides in the future.

More annoying is Chris Gabrieli, now pretending to support the voter mandate sometime in the future.  His plan delays the rollback until the next fiscal crisis requires a tax rate increase.  He didnít care about the 1989 promise and spent over $15,000 of his own money to fight the ballot question, so any promise on his part to return to the traditional 5% rate is not believable.

We are surprised by the number of people who seem to be taken in by all this, as if these three politicians can be believed when they say they suddenly support a tax break that they have opposed for years Ė until the polls showed them on the wrong side of the issue.

Ė 30 Ė

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