This post is for everyone living in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Everyone else can take time off from reading Soccer Mom in Denial.
Everyone in Massachusetts please, please, PLEASE consider voting No on Question 1. Even with so much happening around us – ongoing foreclosures, global market meltdown, state budget cuts – this ballot measure could have dire consequences for the health of our communities. Question 1 would repeal the Massachusetts income tax and decimate government functions. I strongly oppose Question 1.
There is a terrific tool available on VoteNoQuestion1.com to assess what the impact would be on your city or town. For example, my town will lose over $8.6 MILLION in school funding alone. That is 77 PERCENT of the total school budget. Or, more literally, $3 OUT OF EVERY $4 for my children's schools comes from the state.
My town also gets $3.3 million in general state aid. That is money for police officers, town librarians, road repairs and ambulances. The capital city would lose over $157 million in school funding alone if this awful ballot initiative passes. Folks in Massachusetts please go to the map, click your city or town and find out what the consequences would be if the state income tax were repealed.
Even conservative fiscal watchdog group the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation released a report assessing the impact of repeal on state programs and on the taxpayers themselves. There is also a game that lets you decide how you want to cut 40 percent of the state budget. Please, play the game and tell me how you plan to cut $2 out of $5 from the state budget. I ask you to try and leave health care, education and public safety alone.
Supporters of Question 1 assert that “the average taxpayer” would save $3,700 annually if the income tax is repealed. However, when incomes are analyzed more closely in the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation report, the 65% of the Commonwealth’s residents that make $50,000 per year or less would “save” an average of $850 while the 14% of the Commonwealth’s residents that make in excess of $100,000 per year would keep the vast majority of dollars that would have otherwise supported state and local services.
Let me repeat that fact:
The 14% of the Commonwealth’s residents that make in excess of $100,000 a year would keep the vast majority of dollars that would have otherwise supported state and local services. Those are the folks who need this money the least.
I strongly oppose repealing the income tax, not only because it will hurt my town and my children's school, but especially because it will disproportionate impact low and moderate income households. I am deeply concerned by recent polls that show nearly 40% of voters support this repeal. I am in the process of getting the lawn signs outside my house. I'm wearing a button on my coat and plan on holding signs outside the polls on Election Day. I am bringing it up with other parents and elected officials.
Now is not the time to decimate government programs to save $800. Now is the time to support each other and paying taxes is one way to do just that.
Vote No on Question 1.