Memo to the Legislature

Friday, April 5, 2013

No to New Taxes

To:  Members of the General Court

Citizens for Limited Taxation opposes Governor Patrick’s tax package, all $1.9 billion of it. We oppose the $500 million House tax bill. We are however, pleased that the House is not raising the income tax rate, which we taxpayers are still waiting to see returned to its traditional 5%, as promised in 1989 and mandated by the voters in 2000.

This week the Tax Foundation released its annual Tax Freedom Day® report. In 2013, the day United States’ taxpayers as a whole stop working exclusively for their federal, state and local governments, and finally begin to work for ourselves and our families, is April 18th. In Massachusetts, the date is April 25th — the 4th-latest in the nation.

And yet Monday you will be voting on more tax increases, further increasing our burden.

“The goal of these tax changes is to generate sustainable new revenues that do not disproportionately impact one area of the state,” the Transportation Finance Framework report states. “The goal is also to ask those who derive the largest benefit from improved transportation infrastructure — drivers and the business community — to share in the burden of financing that system.”

We thought that’s what we taxpayers were doing when they passed the last gas tax increase in 1990, which went mostly into the general fund instead of promised bridge and road maintenance and repair.

The plan then goes on to propose tax hikes on cigarettes and computer software and services by $326 million. We must ask: how do smokers and computers put an excessive burden on the transportation infrastructure or benefit from it more than others?

What happened to the transportation system reforms that we were promised?

We support the Republican transportation proposal, that does not include tax increases.

While we’re here, let us add that excluding casinos from Proposition 2˝ is also a bad idea.