A Ballot Committee of Citizens for Limited Taxation



"Nonpartisan" CLT report:
 Taxpayers lost $10 billion; risk losing more!

October 5, 2000

Contact: Barbara Anderson (508-384-0100) or
              Chip Ford (781-631-6842)

Citizens for Limited Taxation, also a nonpartisan "think tank," just released a nonpartisan study (this is it) which shows that taxpayers will suffer a loss of roughly $1.2 billion a year if voters do not approve Question 4 in November.

According to this blue string/shoestring study, co-authored by nonpartisan "think tank" director Barbara Anderson and the honorable umm, honorary academic "Doc" Chip Ford, Massachusetts taxpayers have already lost almost $10 billion since the passage of the "temporary" tax hike eleven years ago.*

Question 4, a voter initiative to hold the Legislature to its 1989 promise that the emergency increase in the state income tax would be only "temporary," will phase-down the rate to 5 percent over three years.

* The way you get to this number is by adding each year's tax hike for eleven years to the total. This is how the Question 4 opponents get their $2.7 billion, by adding each year of the rollback to the previous year, for four fiscal years. They could just as easily keep adding for 100 years, for a "tax cut of $120 billion," more when compounded. But why stop there? In 1000 years, Question 4 will "cost the state" and save the taxpayers over one trillion dollars!

The honest number, computed for the three tax years of the tax-year phase-down, is roughly $1.1 billion when the rollback is fully implemented, according to the best estimates of the Department of Revenue (subject to small adjustments upward as state revenues continue to grow beyond expectations). Higher numbers, and combining Q4 with Q6, are an attempt by our opponents to recreate that old campaign theme, "it goes too far."

We hope the media will not let itself be manipulated as a means to this end. A Promise to Keep: 5% releases this report in the hope that there will be careful analysis of similarly exaggerated numbers misused by opponents of Question 4.

The honest numbers can be found in Chart 4 on CLT's website, at: