This November there is a ballot question here in the Bay State to completely eliminate the state's 5.3% income tax. Today's Boston Globe had competing opinion pieces for and against the measure. Despite my anti-tax sentiments, I think it's a rather radical step. However, there's a good chance it may pass this time around because so many people in Massachusetts see it as the only way to force change on an unresponsive State Legislature. For example, at first Beacon Hill did everything they could to subvert the ballot question:
The proponents submitted about 100,000 signatures to the Massachusetts Secretary of State for the first phase of signature collection. 76,084 of those signatures were determined to be valid, with a requirement that 66,593 must be valid for the initiative to proceed to the next step. The next step was for the Massachusetts State Legislature to take up the measure. They declined to pass it by the first Wednesday in May 2008, meaning that the proponents had to collect an additional 11,099 valid signatures by June 18, 2008.Which they did. And why are so many people willing to approve such a sweeping change to the Massachusetts tax code? From the "Arguments in favor of question 1":
State politicians have not kept faith with their promises to taxpayers. The Massachusetts State Legislature blockaded a ballot question approved by the citizens of the commonwealth in 2000 that would have reduced the state income tax to 5%.Will democracy win out in the birthplace of liberty? Don't hold your breath: even if the ballot initiative passes, I'm absolutely confident that Beacon Hill will essentially ignore the will of the people yet again.
Pay more taxes, you unpatriotic bastard!
We need to vote NO on Question 1!
The overpaid and corrupted would be the LAST people cut from the budget if Question 1 passed. You and I would see the cuts -- our bridges, roads, local schools and universities, police and fire departments, snow removal etc. would all set cuts. Many state workers like you and I would be cut. The unemployment rate would go up, tuition and other taxes would go up... all to give the richest of Massachusetts more money. Cutting income tax will give the richest the most money, and the public services cut will effect the middle and lower class the most. Question 1 is a reckless idea... if we want to clean up the government, we need to target the wasteful spending specifically, not blow the whole budget apart.
Vote NO on Question 1, please! I say this as a Massachusetts tax payer!
You have made a great argument for voting "YES" on question #1. Since this state government refused to listen to the vote of the people in 2000, I have decided to vote YES ON QUESTION #1!
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