September 13, 2006
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
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
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
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.
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