A Ballot Committee of
Citizens for Limited Taxation & Government
PO Box 408 * Peabody, MA 01960
Phone:(617) 248-0022 /(508) 538-3900 E-Mail:
Visit our web-page at:

*** Promise Update ***
Thursday, September 11, 1997

Legislature up to same old tricks: Another promise broken

Greetings activists!
Remember earlier this year, when the size of the revenue surplus was first revealed, when legislative leaders could no longer hide its enormity under a rock or in their state house office closets, when there was no denying that it was approaching a billion dollars more than needed and they were scurrying in panic to spend it before we realized and could demand that our money be returned to us?

Remember Finneran’s Stall back then: It’s too early to think about tax cuts, we need to be "prudent" and wait until the fall revenue figures come in before considering any tax cuts.

Well it’s now the Finneran’s Stall, Act II: Let’s just wait until *next* year.

By then, it’d no doubt be "the year after that"!

Or, "We can’t afford it any more; we spent it all"!

As House Speaker Tom Finneran advised Barbara in a quote from the June 23, 1997 issue of *Beacon Hill*: "Maybe somebody at the time said, ‘Well, gee, maybe we could consider rolling it back,’ but Barbara has been around long enough to know statements come and go and language is statutory. I don’t know how someone would attach legitimacy to a comment made in the hall, in a hearing, or even on the House floor."

Thanks for the lesson "Mr. Speaker," but we never make the mistake of attaching "legitimacy" to anything you or your ilk might utter out of pure self-interest. That’s why we’ll rollback the "temporary" income tax hike ourselves—taking our money back from the thieves and liars on Beacon Hill.

Chip Ford

The Boston Globe
Thursday, September 11, 1997

Cellucci, Legislature clash over tax cuts
By Doris Sue Wong
Globe Staff

Governor Paul Cellucci may be heading for his first serious confrontation with the Legislature since becoming the state’s chief executive six weeks ago.

Cellucci has made the rollback of the state income tax rate from 5.95 percent to 5 percent this fall his major policy goal.

But House and Senate leaders seem increasingly reluctant to help him reach that goal—at least not any time soon.

House Speaker Thomas M. Finneran, who earlier this summer suggested that the House might take up the tax cut this fall, this week told reporters he thinks it would be wiser to delay debate on the measure until next year.

In January, the Mattapan Democrat said, the state will have a full half-year of revenue collections that will give legislators a better sense whether the state can afford the $1.2 billion tax cut.

Senate President Thomas F. Birmingham (D-Chelsea), meanwhile, sounds even more reluctant to move swiftly on the income tax cut, saying that while he has not "slammed the door" on the idea, his preference is to target relief to people of modest means.

Cellucci, however, is not about to back down in face of such reluctance. "This is one I am going to push very hard on. I don’t think we need to wait. I think we should do this in the fall," he said yesterday.

And a Cellucci administration source warned of a possible serious political collision. "We won’t hesitate to label them as big spenders who want to go back to the way it was in the 1980s, when government wanted to keep spending and spending and spending," the source said.

Meanwhile, Treasurer Joseph D. Malone, a candidate for governor who supports the income tax rollback, said the legislative resistance shows that taxpayers’ best chance of getting an income tax break lies with a proposed 1998 ballot question on the issue.

"The acting governor and legislative leaders showed their hand this time around when they had a $750 million budget surplus but gave no tax relief," Malone said. "People who are looking for tax relief and a more affordable Massachusetts ought not hold their breath for the Legislature and acting governor."

Barbara Anderson, co-director of Citizens for Limited Taxation & Government, which is spearheading the ballot question campaign to roll back the income tax, said she believes legislative leaders are procrastinating on the issue because they are waiting to see if the campaign can collect the nearly 65,000 voter signatures by the Nov. 19 deadline to get the issue on the ballot.

If the campaign clears that hurdle, Anderson said, she believes the Legislature will pass the tax cut next spring.

"They hope we won’t get the signatures," she said. "They hope if they bury their head in the sand this thing will go away."

Referring to Finneran, she added, "What he calls prudence, I call stubborn resistance."

Cellucci and Republican legislators have made clear their willingness to capitalize on the public pressure that the ballot question campaign will likely generate for the tax cut.

"If we don’t do something, voters will," said Senate Minority leader Brian P. Lees (R-East Longmeadow).

Finneran asserted, however, that the proposed ballot question would not drive the issue in the Legislature. "Oh, gosh, I don’t pay any heed to it at all," the House speaker said.

# # #