CLT Update
Sunday, December 10, 2000

VOTE check-off weekend commentary

The Boston Herald
Sunday, December 10, 2000


Just for tax fans

We think they're kidding, but the Citizens for Limited Taxation (CLT) folks are still feeling flush from their referendum victory last month to cut the state-income tax rate. According to a press release, CLT is filing legislation to create a Voluntary Optional Tax Endowment -- VOTE. It would allow people who wanted to continue paying income taxes at a higher rate just that opportunity.

"Everyone will be a winner," said CLT's Barbara Anderson. "It doesn't get any better than that."

The Boston Globe
Sunday, December 10, 2000


Marini borrows Anderson's idea
on allowing tax-rollback checkoffs

House Minority Leader Fran Marini found Barbara Anderson's tax cut rollback irresistibly impish -- so he appropriated it as his own. Anderson, the state's tax-cut tigress, believes opponents of the state's new $1.2 billion tax cut should put their money where their mouths are. In a bill that stands no chance of making its way through the Democratic Legislature, Anderson offered foes of Question 4 the chance to right the wrong, at least on their own income taxes.

The puckish legislation calls for a checkbox on state tax returns that would let residents volunteer to pay the pre-rollback rate of 5.85 percent. Marini, from Hanson, was so tickled he put his own name on the bill, and attracted so many cosponsors that there wasn't any room left for Anderson, the irrepressible executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation, to sign on the first page. Then Marini pushed a press release touting "his" legislation, even while the Senate version of the bill, filed by Senator JoAnn Sprague of Walpole, listed CLT first among the sponsors.

A spokesman for Marini said the minority leader doesn't claim credit for the idea, even though it offered no acknowledgment in the press release. "We don't deny it is Citizens for Limited Taxation's idea," said Darren Johnson.

The Enterprise
Brockton, Mass.
Saturday, December 9, 2000

Opinion: No one will stop you from paying taxes

Some elections never end. The Florida presidential vote will be debated long after we are all dead; it also seems like Question 4 from the Massachusetts election will not be settled, even though it passed by a wide margin.

Voters approved Question 4 because they wanted their taxes lowered. Opponents are still carping that it will hurt the poor, the children and every other group that will suit its propaganda purposes. This week, House Minority Leader Francis Marini, R-Hanson, responded to those criticisms by filing a bill that would allow taxpayers to check off a box on their tax returns so they can pay a higher tax rate if they want.

Tax cut opponents said it was a cynical move designed to rub their noses in their defeat. James St. George of the misleadingly named Tax Equity Alliance called it a "silly proposal" and said Marini was not being serious.

We think St. George is just being a sore loser. Marini's proposal, along with a similar bill filed in the Senate, is a very legitimate way to let people who think taxes should be higher actually pay higher taxes.

Massachusetts voters spoke clearly on this ballot question: They wanted the tax rate to be 5 percent, which is what it was before a "temporary" increase went into effect a decade ago. The Legislature never had the guts to repeal the tax increase that was created to cover a temporary budget shortfall, so voters took matters into their own hands. Marini is saying, through his legislation, that lawmakers should still follow the lead of the people, not the other way around.

If passed, Marini's bill would require the state Department of Revenue to put a check box on tax forms so St. George and his friends can put their money where their mouths are. They think taxes should be higher? Fine, let them pay higher taxes.

If they can't see the billion-dollar surpluses the state has raked in in recent years and the irresponsible legislative discussions about how to spend every penny instead of returning it to the hard-working taxpayers, then they can check off their boxes to raise their own tax rates. The rest of us already know that the lower tax rate is fair -- and a decade overdue.

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