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All CLT members should have received their CLT fall membership mailing by now.  If you haven't replied with a contribution especially if you haven't responded all year so far we hope you will do so quickly.  We want to continue watching out for and protecting your interests as a taxpayer.

A new gas tax hike is now being discussed, being promoted by the usual suspects.  Do you want to fight it . . . or just roll over and surrender, pay the state more?

Without your support, CLT won't be here to provide you with that option.  That's still up to you, for now.


CLT UPDATE
Sunday, October 30, 2011

"How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away"


A BLAST FROM THE RECENT PAST

CLT is almost preposterously tiny, and it has always operated on a shoestring. Its four paid staffers make far less than many of their opponents -- the legislators, lobbyists, and union officials whose appetite for higher taxes and more government spending never seems to diminish. Barbara Anderson, the incorruptible happy warrior who became CLT's executive director in 1980, earns just $10 an hour.

But even a shoestring budget needs to pay for shoestring, and CLT is no longer sure it can do so. Between the recession and the exodus of fed-up citizens from Massachusetts, CLT's membership has shrunk dramatically, from 10,000 in the mid-1990s to only around 3,000 today. CLT has also lost some of its most generous donors -- among them Richard Egan, the founder of EMC Corp., who died in August. As a result, CLT announced last week, "we are hurting financially more than ever before."

The Boston Globe
October 25, 2009
CLT's last hurrah?
by Jeff Jacoby


Chip Ford's CLT Commentary

First, I want to thank those of you who have contributed to CLT this year, have remained supporting members. We wouldn't still be here working for the taxpayers without your loyalty and continued support.  Every taxpayer in Massachusetts should appreciate the few like you who have saved and continue to save them so much.

But every couple of years CLT is back here on the verge of running out of support and funds. At these times CLT has again begun to be taken for granted. I think CLT has been around for so long (37 years) that there's a the perception that it will somehow always be around to protect taxpayers, sort of magically. Maybe over time people simply forget that anything of value needs to be nurtured.

All that has changed over the past two years since Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby wrote his 2009 column (below) is:

  We had to let Loretta go to cut expenses, so have been down to three staffers since then;

●  A few more of our "most generous donors" have passed or moved away;

●  Barbara took a pay cut.

●  We're not planning to hold a membership brunch this year due to low funds and short staff (Loretta used to do most of the considerable work making it happen.)

●  Compared to October 2009, when CLT was last going under:  Today funds are down 25.5% from 30% fewer contributors.

There's something to that old Bluegrass song "How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away," no doubt a favorite among a vast majority of legislators and the governor. It may be that CLT and its members-in-good-standing won't be appreciated by enough taxpayers until we're not here protecting them any longer, when taxpayers see what happens without CLT covering their backs.

Chip Ford


 

CLT's last hurrah?

by Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
October 25, 2009

From his website at:  http://www.jeffjacoby.com/6477/clts-last-hurrah

TIME AND AGAIN, Citizens for Limited Taxation has come to the rescue of Massachusetts taxpayers. Will taxpayers come to the rescue of CLT?

CLT's happy warrior: Executive Director Barbara Anderson

For 35 years, CLT has been an unwavering foe of high taxes and government arrogance, two commodities for which Massachusetts is well-known. It was created in 1974 to fight a proposal for steeply graduated income-tax rates, a proposal it defeated in the 1976 election. When the grad-tax returned to the state ballot in 1994, CLT led the fight to defeat it once again.

In 1980, CLT stunned the Massachusetts political establishment with its successful crusade to slash property and auto-excise taxes, which were then among the highest in America. CLT's weapon was Proposition 2, a ballot question vehemently denounced by the state's liberal elite, including the League of Women Voters, the Massachusetts League of Cities and Towns, and the Massachusetts Teachers Association. In an editorial, the Boston Globe blasted the measure's "meat-ax approach" and condemned its proponents as "fanatical critics of municipal government" who were oblivious to the devastation they would cause.

But the voters followed CLT, and approved Proposition 2 by a wide margin. Far from wreaking havoc across the commonwealth, the law became "the most powerful engine of change in recent Massachusetts political history," as even the Globe would later acknowledge -- the single greatest factor in "the state's amazing turnaround."

In 1996, the nonpartisan civic-affairs journal CommonWealth described Proposition 2 as "the most sweeping public policy reform in recent Massachusetts history -- and one that did not come about from the efforts of 'progressive' reformers." Nevertheless, it pointed out, CLT accomplished much that even "good-government liberals might well applaud," including a decreased reliance on regressive property taxes, a more sensible real-estate assessment system, better management of municipal budgets, and -- since Prop 2 allows local communities to override the statutory levy limit with voter approval -- more democratic decision-making, at least when it comes to property taxes.

CLT is almost preposterously tiny, and it has always operated on a shoestring. Its four paid staffers make far less than many of their opponents -- the legislators, lobbyists, and union officials whose appetite for higher taxes and more government spending never seems to diminish. Barbara Anderson, the incorruptible happy warrior who became CLT's executive director in 1980, earns just $10 an hour.

But even a shoestring budget needs to pay for shoestring, and CLT is no longer sure it can do so. Between the recession and the exodus of fed-up citizens from Massachusetts, CLT's membership has shrunk dramatically, from 10,000 in the mid-1990s to only around 3,000 today. CLT has also lost some of its most generous donors -- among them Richard Egan, the founder of EMC Corp., who died in August. As a result, CLT announced last week, "we are hurting financially more than ever before." The group's annual fundraising brunch on Nov. 15 may be its last hurrah: If turnout is low, says co-director Chip Ford, CLT will shut down on Nov. 16.

Property taxes in Massachusetts aren't cheap -- but they are far lower than they would have been without Proposition 2

No organization lasts forever, and at 35 CLT has already outlived many advocacy groups. No doubt diehard welfare-statists and big-government lefties would be happy to attend CLT's funeral. No doubt many Massachusetts residents have more pressing personal concerns.

But with state government once more a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, with the state's sales tax rate now up to 6.25 percent, and with Beacon Hill hungrily seeking more revenue, the prospect of CLT's demise should be setting off alarms.

Were it not for CLT, Massachusetts taxpayers and businesses would be forking over far more of their wealth to the tax man than they do. In addition to blocking graduated tax rates and reining in property taxes, CLT forced the repeal in 1986 of an income surtax enacted under Governor Michael Dukakis and led a successful ballot campaign in 2000 to roll back state income taxes. Though it hasn't won every battle, it has never shied from the battlefield.

"Without the benefit of paid signature-gatherers or the large advertising budgets deployed against them by the public-employee unions who fought their every move," wrote Jon Keller in The Bluest State, his acclaimed 2007 study of Massachusetts politics, "Barbara Anderson and CLT established themselves as the state's most effective check on runaway taxation, far more formidable than the toothless handful of Republicans in the legislature."

With hard work and good humor, Citizens for Limited Taxation has made Massachusetts a much better place than it would otherwise be. It has survived a lot in the past 35 years, but it cannot survive indifference. If you're free on Nov. 15, you might want to have brunch with Barbara Anderson.

(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe.)

Article URL:  http://www.jeffjacoby.com/6477/clts-last-hurrah

 

NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml


Citizens for Limited Taxation    PO Box 1147    Marblehead, MA 01945    508-915-3665
Web Site:  http://cltg.org