MTA launches campaign against income tax repeal
A group called the Committee for Small Government is qualifying a question for the November ballot that would repeal the state personal income tax. If passed, this initiative will become law, costing the state more than $12 billion a year in revenues, or about 40 percent of the state budget. A similar question on the 2002 ballot garnered 45 percent of the vote, and early poll results show that this question could pass if the public is not educated about how much damage it would cause.
The MTA strongly opposes the initiative because it would devastate public education, the economy and our quality of life in Massachusetts. The consequences would be dire:
Public Education: Slashing state revenues would lead to unprecedented and unsustainable cuts in public schools and higher education, which receive a substantial share of their funding from the Commonwealth. Our schools would be thrown into chaos and dysfunction. Our public colleges and UMass would have to cut services and sharply increase tuition and fees, putting the cost out of reach for many students.
Economy: By making deep cuts in investments in public education, public safety, roads and bridges and many other areas, this proposal would do severe damage to our economy, making it harder to attract new businesses to the state.
Property Taxes: The initiative would force local communities to raise property taxes significantly to lessen the damage. Those who think New Hampshire has a tax model we should follow should consider that New Hampshire ranks first in the country in property taxes as a share of personal income.
Coalition Opposes Ballot Measure
This ballot proposal is opposed by a growing coalition of labor, civic, human services and business organizations. Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed budget watchdog group, said, "The income tax repeal would have a dramatically negative impact on the Massachusetts economy. Essentially, the sponsors of this ballot question are attempting to repeal the 20th century."
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Visit the coalition Web site to view more information and recent developments in the campaign.