CLT News Release

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

CLT still opposes Grad Tax schemes


CLT’s 1994 Grad Tax Opposition  Sign

Twenty-one years later the Takers are back.  They last lost their last assault on productive taxpayers in 1994 by a two-to-one margin, defeated again as they were in 1962, 1968, 1972, and 1976. But a resounding "NO" is never good enough for the Takers.

"We need a significant amount of new money," whines Lew Finfer, director of the Massachusetts Communities Action Network and Co-Chair of Raise Up Massachusetts, leader of the group which hopes the sixth attempt to transform the state's flat income tax into a graduated income tax will be the charm.

The Takers always need "a significant amount of new money."  The only question for them is whose pocket to pick every time they demand more, more, ever more.  And More Is Never Enough (MINE) until they have it all.

State Rep. Jay Kaufman (D-Lexington), a supporter of this latest grad tax assault, said:  "The only way to address inequities in our tax system and provide for the revenues we need for the services we need is to amend the constitution so we can have everyone paying their fair share."

The Takers are disingenuously calling their proposed constitutional amendment ballot question "The Fair Share Amendment."

What can be more fair than all citizens paying the same rate of taxation?

How can it possibly be considered "fair" for one targeted group to pay a higher rate than another?

How can it honestly be considered "fair" for some, already filling a disproportionately large amount of the revenue pot, to be further burdened with yet a higher tax rate?

Why would such targeted victims submit to this abuse, instead of simply packing up homestead and business, escaping to a lower- or no-income tax state, like say New Hampshire? (This has been happening all around the country.)

Their constitutional amendment filed with the Attorney General states its intention is "to Provide Resources for Education and Transportation ... subject to appropriation."  That is a major loophole providing no guarantee where or how the estimated $1.5 billion to be raised will be spent.

Make no mistake about it — what is being proposed is termination of the Massachusetts flat tax, in effect since John Adams authored the oldest functioning written constitution in continuous effect in the world (1779-80).

If there is ever more than one single rate in the Constitution then the state will have replaced de facto the flat income tax with a graduated income tax scheme.

Once the state Constitution has been transformed with a graduated income tax the precedent will have been established.  The only question is which bracket will be targeted next.

This proposal is the first step in an inevitable slippery slope.

Note the phrase "so we can have everyone paying their fair share" in Rep. Kaufman's statement above.

Maybe not today, maybe not next year or the year after — but as sure as the sun rises in the east you know it will come; 'Just on those earning over $100,000 ... over $75,000 ...'

For the Takers it is always "We need a significant amount of new money." More Is Never Enough and never will be.

If a graduated income tax is ever adopted in Massachusetts the question will always be:  "Who's next?"

Citizens for Limited Taxation was founded to oppose the graduated income tax in 1976.  CLT led opposition that defeated grad tax assaults on taxpayers ever since, and will be at the opposition forefront of this sixth one as well.

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Citizens for Limited Taxation    PO Box 1147    Marblehead, MA 01945    781-639-9709