Limited Taxation
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CLT Update
Wednesday, December 1, 1999


By 5:00 PM today we must turn in at least 57,100 certified signatures of registered voters to the Secretary of State for our tax rollback initiative to qualify.

Thanks to the magnificent help of so many of you, we will turn in over 122,000 certified signatures!

That's more than twice the required number.

We spent a very long, tedious day yesterday at the Newton Marriott Hotel adding up signatures on mountains of petitions as our volunteer drivers brought them in from all points of the commonwealth. A cheer went up throughout the chaotic meeting room as we entered the Town of Billerica's 1,183 certified signatures on the laptop and pushed our spreadsheet running total over the six-digit, one hundred thousand point!

And we just kept on adding them up until about 8:00 PM last night ... until we completed the count at 122,370.

Our special thanks to those who dropped everything at our phone call yesterday and rushed to the Marriott to bail us out, when we fully recognized the enormity of the task. We'd still be there counting were it not for your eleventh-hour response. We didn't adopt our Minuteman logo without good reason: the CLT Minutemen responded without hesitation, as you always have!

Thanks go out also to Paul Melkonian and Gov. Cellucci's Tax Rollback Committee. It took the combined experience and  joint commitment of the CLT-TRC coalition to accomplish this incredible success.

And especially thanks to each of you who took an active role in our effort, you who contributed to the over 55,000 "raw" signatures total that CLT has been able to document. We also received countless receipts in the mail over the past weeks which carried only the number of petition sheets submitted, not signatures, so our total contribution will never be known, but those petitions surely did add up, as witnessed yesterday!

TEAM can go ahead and renew Jim St. George's contract -- he's going to be very busy in the weeks and months ahead. Jim, when you get around to it, you can thank us for your continued job security as a tax-and-spend advocate! Like the state's taxpayers, what would you do without CLT?

And Chip Faulkner ... you met your personal goal and got your 2,000 signatures and then a few more. You can finally take a day off now! It's been a long time since the last one, hasn't it!

CFord-Sig2.gif (4854 bytes)

Chip Ford

PS. Barbara, Chip Faulkner and I will accompany Gov. Cellucci, Lt. Gov. Swift, and Paul Melkonian when we deliver the petitions to Secretary Galvin this afternoon, followed by a news conference. Watch for it on the local evening news!

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Tuesday, November 30, 1999

Voters will speak
Tax cut issue to be on 2000 ballot

When it became apparent the Legislature was not going to roll back the "temporary" 5.95 percent state income tax to the pre-1989 rate of 5 percent, Gov. Paul Cellucci threw his political weight behind a referendum initiative to accomplish that goal.

The referendum is sponsored by Citizens for Limited Taxation and Government, the advocacy group that championed Proposition 2. Now CLT and the governor have come through.

Using the formidable resources of Gov. Cellucci's campaign organization, the tax cut referendum has collected more than twice the 57,100 signatures required to ensure the issue will appear on the ballot next year.

It is reasonable to believe voters will use the opportunity to achieve a tax cut denied them by their elected representatives.

The leadership in the Legislature would be wise to begin to trim spending and draw up budget plans that reflect the potential loss of $1.4 billion in revenues over the three years of the phased-in tax rollback.

There will be vigorous opposition by some lawmakers and public employee unions. But the message should be heard by the tax-and-spend crowd: Bay State voters resent being saddled in flush times with a regressive tax that was passed as an emergency measure to stave off bankruptcy when the "Massachusetts Miracle" of the Dukakis years collapsed.

Thanks to CLT and Gov. Cellucci, people will have a chance to speak out next November.

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