( – promoted by Patrick)
A least one journal of opinion is taking Carla Howell's ballot measure seriously. Commonwealth magazine, published by MassInc isn't about to ignore the libertarian proposal to abolish the state personal income tax the way the media elite did six years ago. This year, defenders of the status quo aren't taking anything for granted. But more importantly they have to draft hard logic and facts against the backdrop of inefficient government. The blood in the streets scenario is unlikely to change hard hearts. Given that most believe state government is not their friend, the pro-income-tax ensemble soon to be organized the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation will face a very tough fight.
Given the anti-tax sentiment across the state, perhaps no one should have been surprised that 45 percent of voters said “yes” to this idea six years ago. But the state’s political and media establishment, who pretty much treated Howell as a pariah and the ballot question as nonsense, were thrown for a loop by its strong showing.
They might want to listen to Methuen resident Kasia Sokalla, one of the 10 original signers of the 2008 initiative. “This will be the first serious tax cut for working-class and middle-class Massachusetts voters that I can remember,” she says. The proposal got 53 percent of the vote in Methuen the last time it appeared on the ballot, and Sokalla says, “We voted to end the income tax in 2002 because working families deserved and needed the money.”
In Fitchburg, where voters have turned up on the winning side of state elections and referenda to the tune of 83-1 since 1994, the “no” vote won last time, with 53 percent. But Jason Lefferts, editor of Fitchburg Pride, the city’s year-old weekly newspaper, still thinks officials should keep an eye on this year’s campaign. “I think people’s first reaction is, ‘Well, yeah, of course, if I can get rid of the income tax, I’m going to vote for it,’” he says.
It would probably be a good guess to say that if the legislature had followed the will of the voters in 2000 and fully rolled back the PIT to 5 percent, Carla Howell would be working on some other issue. Required reading: http://www.massinc.org/index.p…