CLT News Release
Thursday, May 18, 2016

There They Go Again!
Round 6 on the way


135 legislators have taken the first step toward foisting a Graduated Income Tax on the unsuspecting citizens of Massachusetts. This fiscal disaster for the taxpayers and economy of our state now moves on for a second vote in the next legislative session.

Most revealing during the constitutional convention was when Amendment #11, offered by Rep. Brad Jones (R-North Reading) and Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), went down to such an overwhelming defeat.

It sought to codify the Grad Tax sponsors' false promise that the estimated $2 billion in additional revenue raised through its graduated income tax would be dedicated to "education and transportation," not merely “subject to appropriation.”

Amendment #11 would have amended the proposed Grad Tax constitutional amendment by inserting, after the word “purposes” in line 7, the following: - “, provided however that any funds appropriated shall be in addition to and not in lieu of funds appropriated for such purposes in the fiscal year most recently completed prior to the enactment of this amendment.”

This would have prevented fungible revenue from being taken out of one pocket and stashed into another – leaving that additional revenue free to be spent anywhere, on the whim of any future Legislature. It would have locked in the proponents’ promise.

That such unambiguous clarity was so resoundingly defeated by so many supporters of this scheme only underscores the bait-and-switch nature of their proposal. That such a majority of supporters refused to demonstrate to voters their sincerity of purpose in fact now defines their true motivation.

That single roll call vote now makes clear that this proposed amendment to the state constitution is not what they're trying to sell to the public, and that legislators will not be bound by the sponsors’ promises.

As Rep. Peter Durant (R-Spencer) pointed out on the floor, "subject to appropriation" in legislative-speak is the same as – “yes, but ..."

Citizens for Limited Taxation will be prepared to fight this latest noxious proposal all the way to the 2018 ballot – as we last did successfully in 1994.


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