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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Taxing our patience

Memo to proposed casino developers in Middleboro and Palmer: come on down. As for the rest of us, well, if you thought your property tax bill was high now, just wait.

One of the most hare-brained proposals in state history is back: a petition calling for the abolition of the state income tax. Not rolling it back to 5 percent. Eliminating it. Tossing it out the door and turning Massachusetts into New Hampshire South (without the automobile lawn decor).

Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation adequately sums up proposal from Carla Howell, the 2002 Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate.
"The voters would rue the day. . . . Essentially, she's trying to repeal the 20th century."
Howell tells the Globe the proposed 2008 ballot question would be a "huge benefit" to Massachusetts residents. She didn't elaborate -- or the Globe didn't tell us what that those benefits are.

Let's see know, with a state that relies on income taxes to pay for $10 or $11 billion of its $26.8 billion budget I can certainly see what those benefits might be: no more money for cities and towns to use for police, fire, public works and schools. No more money for the state to use to pay for the health care of its citizens.

And given the fact that Proposition 2 1/2 would actually keep a semblance of a lid on property taxes (but would not prevent their continued rose at a steady, deadly pace), a state that would be challenging Louisiana and Mississippi for the bottom of the barrel.

That is unless of course you enjoy gambling. The casinos located at virtually every intersection of every city and town would be the sole source of income for a state government trying to meet its constitutional duties to its citizens. Except for the skyrocketed taxes on booze and butts.

Or should I say citizen. Everyone else would have checked out and turned off the lights. Even Verizon.

The most frightening part of this scenario is 45 percent of Massachusetts bought into this hare-brained scheme the last time it was on the ballot. Are there more than 70,000 people in the Commonwealth willing to put this question on the table for discussion another time. Sadly the answer is yes.

Fasten your seat belt (no that question won't be on the ballot), it's going to be a bumpy ride.

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Blogger bostonph said...

I had a rant about Citizens for Limited Taxation all ready to go, but this is much more eloquent:


For half a dozen years, the motto of state government and particularly that of Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been No New Taxes. It's been popular with a lot of voters and it has mostly prevailed. So much so that Pawlenty vetoed a 5-cent gas tax increase - the first in 20 years - last spring and millions were lost that might have gone to road repair. And yes, it would have fallen even if the gas tax had gone through, because we are years behind a dangerous curve when it comes to the replacement of infrastructure that everyone but wingnuts in coonskin caps agree is one of the basic duties of government.

I still find it disturbing that the CLT leadership were regular guests on MassResistance Radio and that CLT member and prickly compulsive blog commenter Cynthia Stead is a state employee. But that's a rant for a day when I'm not dealing with "I'm OK" calls from friends and family in MN.

August 02, 2007 2:11 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Thanks. You either stole my thunder or provided good context for my next post!

August 02, 2007 7:20 PM  

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