CLT Memo to the Legislature
Monday, May 16, 2016

Kill the creature before it advances


To:  Members of the State Legislature
May 16, 2016

This Wednesday a proposal for a graduated income tax will likely be voted upon at a Constitutional Convention. Please vote NO to stop this fiscal disaster for the taxpayers and economy of Massachusetts.

There are four solid reasons for opposition to this proposed Constitutional Amendment:

1. Massachusetts is an already heavily taxed state. We don’t need to reinforce the image of Taxachusetts. The voters are angry enough about higher taxes as evidenced by their rejection of the automatic gas tax increase on the 2014 ballot.

2. This so-called “millionaire’s tax” will just drive millionaires out of the state. It could be as simple as picking up a laptop and moving a few miles north. The multi–millionaires who have been providing hundreds of thousands in state income tax revenue would then contribute ZERO. This has been the demonstrated results in New Jersey, Maryland, California and other states. It would kill the golden goose.

3. Article 48 of the State Constitution prohibits certain subjects from appearing on the ballot. An appropriation of money is one of them. Therefore, the extra revenue that supposedly would be generated by this tax would NOT go directly to education, repair of roads and bridges, public transportation, etc. as proponents falsely claim. Instead it would all go directly into the general fund to be spent at the Legislature’s discretion, as is all other revenue.

Case in point:  When the gas tax was increased from 11 to 21 cents in 1990, it generated an additional $120 million in revenue. All that money was supposed to go to the highways and bridges. Instead, as AAA pointed out at the time in a scathing editorial, only $7.4 million actually went for its intended purpose.

4. Does anyone really think if the proponents of the “millionaire’s tax” get their wish, that they will stop with millionaires? Once the Commonwealth’s historic flat tax is abolished – and that is what this proposed amendment would do – the power to constitutionally tax at different rates will have been established. It will be only a matter of time before the rest of us will eventually become their victims.

Lest we forget: The usual list of suspects who opposed Proposition 2½, the reduction of the auto excise, the elimination of the 7½% income tax surtax, the income tax rollback – all which they thankfully couldn’t defeat – are now behind this sixth Grad Tax assault.


Citizens for Limited Taxation    PO Box 1147    Marblehead, MA 01945    508-915-3665