CLT Update
Thursday, December 7, 2000

CLT files VOTE contribution bills:
House version claimed by Minority Leader

Yesterday provided a very interesting study of politics and why you've just got'ta love it.

On Tuesday, we sent copies of our proposed VOTE contribution bill to the House and Senate Republicans. While Barbara called Taxation Committee Republican members and the minority leaders seeking sponsorship of our bill, I prepared and sent out our news release and e-mail Update to the statewide media and to you. Barbara and I planned to go to the State House on Wednesday to sign our bill and make sure it was filed before the mandatory deadline of 5:00 PM.

Barbara wanted to hold off announcing our proposal until the language was vetted through the legal experts; I wanted to get it out there, "copyright" our concept before others could claim credit. As you know, I prevailed ... and read on to learn why that's a good thing!

So yesterday we went to the State House to sign our bill. We first stopped at the office of House Minority Leader Fran Marini (R-Hanson) and met with his chief of staff. He advised us that our proposed legislation was not yet prepared and asked us to come back in an hour or so.

We left the minority leader's office and met with the most gracious and hospitable state Sen. JoAnn Sprague (R-Walpole), who had agreed to be the primary sponsor of our bill in the Senate. Her office had asked the Senate Counsel to put our language into the proper legal format.

Barbara signed Citizens for Limited Taxation, as she has on bills that we've filed in the past; Sen. Sprague immediately followed. Sens. Bob Hedlund (R-Weymouth) and Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) signed on before the bill was submitted. We did, by the way, also invite the other Republican senators and two Senate Democrats who supported Question 4 to sign on if they wanted; they can still do so in the clerk's office.

Back in the House minority leader's office, the situation was a little different. Our bill had been changed -- it had become "his" bill, the name we had given to it had been dropped, and the rate at which the income tax difference would be calculated had been changed to a straight 5.85 percent. The sign-on page was filled with the signatures of Republican state representatives (with Rep. Marini's name pressed right up to the signature line so that nobody no matter how tiny her fingers could squeeze Citizens for Limited Taxation into the space!). Then his chief of staff asked Barbara, "Would you like to sign on too?"

Trying not to laugh at the obviousness of it all, Barbara asked if she could sign, perhaps, on the back?; they added a clean new page for her to sign for us, if she wanted to co-sponsor "his" bill.

You've heard of "follow the leader"? Now you know who the leader follows!

Since we announced our proposal on Tuesday, a great many of you have contacted us with kind congratulations on our "brilliant" idea. Yet one really doesn't know how good an idea is, until someone else expropriates it and claims it as his own ... a more sincere form of flattery than even imitation! Give Rep. Marini credit: he recognized a good idea when it was handed to him. And to be fair: even if he didn't invent it, where would the Internet be today if Al Gore hadn't claimed it as his own?

We are grateful for the support of any and all Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, Reformers, anyone who wants to jump on the VOTE choice bandwagon! To clarify our position to CLT activists and supporters: CLT and Sen. Sprague have filed a bill to allow Question 4 opponents to pay the old income tax rates, our original proposal; and CLT also supports the Marini version of our bill [see below].

Chip Ford


The Official CLT/Sen. Sprague Original Version


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in the General Court assembled, and by the authorities of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. Chapter 10 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 35T, inserted by section 23 of chapter 127 of the acts of 1999, the following section:-

Section 35U. There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be know as the Voluntary Optional Endowment Fund. The fund shall consist of all revenues received by the commonwealth under the provisions of section 6J of chapter 62. The state treasurer shall deposit said revenues in, or transfer said revenues to, the General Fund.

SECTION 2. Chapter 62 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 6I, inserted by section 82 of chapter 127 of the acts f 1999, the following section:-

Section 6J. Every individual who files a separate return and every husband and wife filing a return jointly may voluntarily add an amount onto any amount due, to be credited to the Voluntary Optional Tax Endowment Fund established pursuant to section 35U of chapter 10.

A contribution made under this section may be with respect to any taxable year at the time of filing a return of the tax established by this chapter for such taxable year; provided, however, that the commissioner shall assure that taxpayers filing any such forms are made clearly aware of their ability to make the contributions provided for by this section.

The commissioner shall annually report the total amount designated under this section to the state treasurer, who shall credit such amount to said Voluntary Optional Tax Endowment Fund.

SECTION 3. The state personal income tax schedules and instruction booklet shall contain a table which provides the difference between the statutory income tax on personal income (Parts A and B) at its rate for the current tax year, and the rate of 5.8 per cent for tax year 2001, and 5.75 per cent thereafter.

Signed: Citizens for Limited Taxation (by Barbara Anderson)
State Senator Jo Anne Sprague (R-Walpole)
State Senator Robert L. Hedlund (R-Weymouth)
State Senator Bruce E. Tarr (R-Gloucester)

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
House of Representatives
House Minority Leader
Representative Francis L. Marini


Contact: Darren Johnson, (617) 722-2100
December 6, 2000

Marini announces alternative to Question 4 tax dilemma

BOSTON -- Massachusetts residents who were concerned about the impact caused by the passage of Question 4 this past November will now have the ability to continue to pay their income taxes at the current rate of 5.85% instead of the recently approved 5% based upon legislation filed by House Minority Leader Francis L. Marini (R-Hanson) on Wednesday.

Marini has authored a bill which will allow residents who feel the implications of Question 4 will be far too reaching, to continue pay a higher income taxes if they choose.

"There appears to be a number of people who feel that Question 4 went too far. While the majority of voters in Massachusetts, over 1.5 million of them felt otherwise and gave their overwhelming support to this important measure, some people fear that the commonwealth cannot absorb the revenue loss. This legislation will enable those citizens to pay higher taxes and give the legislature additional funds to pay for particular projects at higher levels or pay off debt or to spend any way they deem appropriate. If people want their money spent, they should feel comfortable in sending it to the legislature," Marini said.

Under the Marini bill, voters will be able to choose which income tax they wish to pay each year by checking off a box on the Massachusetts Personal Income Tax forms. The check box will enable citizens to continue to pay a 5.85% income tax rate if desired. The legislation also directs the Department of Revenue to provide calculation tables to help the public determine the implication of their tax paying options.

The House Version
"Authored" by Republican Minority Leader Francis L. Marini
(with a little help from his friends!)


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in the General Court assembled, and by the authorities of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, regulations adopted by the commissioner of revenue shall implement and be consistent with the following:

a.) All state personal income tax forms shall contain a check-off box allowing taxpayers to elect, at the option of the taxpayer, the following: I elect to pay 5.85 percent income tax on Part A taxable income and Part B taxable income.

b.) All state personal income tax schedules and instructions booklets shall contain a table providing the tax at various incomes calculated at the voluntary rate of tax of 5.85 percent.

c.) The department of revenue shall maintain a record of the number of taxpayers who choose to elect said rate of 5.85 percent.

d.) The department of revenue shall maintain a record of the amount of revenue collected from taxpayers who have elected to pay the rate of tax of 5.85 percent.

Signed: Francis L. Marini, 6th Plymouth
Bradley H. Jones, Jr., 21st Middlesex
Mary S. Rogeness, 2nd Hampden
Reed Hill, 1st Hampden
Karyn Polito, 11th Worcester
Vinny de Macedo, 1st Plymouth
... (others supposed to be added)
Citizens for Limited Taxation (by Barbara Anderson)

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