Limited Taxation
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CLT Update
Monday, October 4, 1999


The clock's ticking down, the deadline approaches, only 44 days remain.

Don't be one of those regretful procrastinators who, when all is said and done in December, cry to us about how you could have helped, how you could have done more if only you'd been asked, if only you'd known ...

And especially don't be one of those who sit back and let someone else do it for you, kick back waiting for others to put money into your pocket!

We need your help.

We need your help NOW!

If you haven't signed up yet for your petition package, please don't put if off any longer ... you're making me nervous! You don't have to get thousands of signatures, just whatever you can; ten, twelve, twenty-six.

Last time, everyone's effort was lost over twenty-six signatures. After all of us collected over 65,000 signatures, we fell a mere 26 signatures short. Could you have gotten twenty-six signatures the last time? Can you this time?

To help yourself by helping us, click below and get your very own petition package.

While there's still time ... this time!

CFord-Sig2.gif (4854 bytes)

Chip Ford

Get your petition package -- while there is still time!

The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune
Monday, October 4, 1999

Force them to keep a promise


An anti-tax group is preparing yet another petition drive to lower the Massachusetts income tax to 5 percent.


Someone has to try to force our legislators to keep their promises.

Once again, all the might and power of the state will be arrayed against them. They may well fail.

But if we are to be a self-governed people, not sheep led by foxes, they must try.

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends," as Shakespeare's Henry said.

It has been 10 years since the Legislature raised the state income tax rate from its "permanent" level of 5 percent. The "temporary" increase was needed to cope with a budget crisis brought on by recession.

But as soon as the recession ended, the Legislature promised, the tax rate would return to its permanent level.

Ten years.

In that time, the Legislature's leaders have lied, cajoled, manipulated, and used their cunning political skills to keep the tax money coming in. The rate is still 5.95 percent, despite the state's running surpluses in the hundreds of millions.

Look at what they've done:

The "temporary" tax rate has been in place for 21 of the last 24 years.

Senate President Thomas F. Birmingham has actually denied that the Legislature ever made any such promise. State Sen. Susan Tucker of Andover recalls otherwise.

Instead of lowering the rate, last year the Legislature passed a tax cut by increasing personal deductions, thus conditioning their subjects to the permanence of the higher tax rate.

And citizen petitions to place on the ballot a referendum to lower the tax have been attacked by public employees unions and overturned by a cooperative judiciary, whose pay depends on the good graces of legislative leaders.

The anti-tax group Citizens for Limited Taxation is trying again, beginning the process of collecting the 57,100 certified signatures needed to bring the question before the Legislature and, ultimately, get it on the ballot.

It is a long, arduous process fraught with legal challenges at every step.

We wish CLT the best in their effort. They are fighting the good fight.

When our legislators lack the integrity to keep their promises, someone has to try to force them to do the right thing.

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