CLT Update
Wednesday, May 2, 2001

"A vote for fiscal sanity" as revenue still pours in

"Year-to-date revenue collections totaled $13.42 billion, up $1.14 billion or 9.3 percent above last year."

Department of Revenue
May 1, 2001
April Revenue Totals $1.55 Billion


The Boston Herald
Wednesday, May 2, 2001

A vote for fiscal sanity
A Boston Herald editorial

Score a victory for fiscal sanity in the Massachusetts House.

The crowd that insists it has a much better use for our money than we do took it on the chin as the House began its budget deliberations this week. An attempt to reimpose state taxes on long-term capital gains was voted down 111-43.

The tax-loving sponsor of the amendment, Rep. James Marzilli (D-Arlington), whined that the additional revenue -- estimated at some $400 million a year -- could have been used to fund a "panoply of social programs." Instead that money will no doubt continue to be used by taxpayers to save for their kids' college education, to pay bills, maybe even to paint the house. Isn't that just terrible.

But the House has a solution for Marzilli and others like him who insist they are undertaxed, that the state should take much more out of their paychecks. A solution for the guilt-ridden is now in sight.

While it may not survive the whole budget process (the Senate may not have as cheeky a notion of budgeting), a new measure allows taxpayers who truly want to pay more in state income taxes a check-off in order to do it. It may well be a mischievous concession by House Democrats to Republicans, but it is one way to gauge if tax cut opponents put their money where their mouths have been.

The House also approved a voluntary checkoff for individual property taxes that would allow homeowners to pay into a Voluntary Community Preservation Fund. Proceeds could be used by communities to acquire open space or for historic preservation or to build affordable housing.

What began as a tongue-in-cheek proposal could be a great exercise in honesty in public policy.

NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to:

Return to CLT Updates page

Return to CLT home page