( – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)
This just in from our friends at Citizens for Limited Taxation.
Re: Income Tax Hike
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
To: Members of the General Court
cc. CLT VIP (Very Important Media) List
Re: Senate vote to kill the people’s income tax rollback
Contact: Barbara Anderson
Might as well start with the letter to the Boston Globe, attempting to correct its editorial error stating that the Senate increased the standard deduction (it was actually the personal exemption), which hasn’t been published.
“Re: the Senate vote to stop the income tax rollback. First: tax hikes must originate in the House, and the House didn’t originate this. Second, the voters ordered in 2000 to return the income tax to its traditional 5%, as they were promised when the rate was increased in 1989. Third, the Senate is attempting to graduate the income tax, which is unconstitutional. Fourth, we’ve seen this scam before: the Legislature, led by the Senate, increases the personal exemption as it supports a rate hike, then reduces the personal exemption again as soon as it can.”
Trying to stop the rollback ballot question, the Legislature doubled the personal exemption in 1998. This was subsequently cut in 2002 at the same time that the rollback was frozen. Still isn’t adjusted for inflation, as we’d been promised: but what’s a promise between citizens and their elected representatives?
We couldn’t help but notice that one defender of the income tax hike was Sen. Rodrigues, who in 2009 was caught by an alert citizen with a camera buying liquor in tax-free New Hampshire after voting for an increase in the Massachusetts alcohol tax. Last week he was quoted by the SHNS:
“The voters did choose to reduce their personal income tax liability, but they were given no choice on the method. We are providing the same amount of tax relief to the voters of the Commonwealth by a different method. It’s not a matter of if we provide that tax relief, but how we provide that tax relief,” Rodrigues said.
Cute, Senator. The voters chose to “keep the promise” (the official name of our ballot campaign) that the income tax rate would return to 5%. You want to substitute a permanent hike in the rate for all hard-working taxpayers, reduction for only lower-income workers, another temporary hike in the personal exemption. Why don’t you put it on the ballot and see if voters like it better?
Meanwhile, we are grateful to the House for not raising taxes, and hope you prevail with the SJC: we agree that our founding fathers had good reason to give the power to initiate tax increases to the people’s branch instead of to the arrogant, aristocratic Senate – which apparently hasn’t changed much.
We appreciate the Senate roll call on the tax hike. Also are beginning to understand why the Mass. Fiscal Alliance counts procedural votes: look at the unanimous vote for a Senate budget containing an income tax hike, a broken promise to voters, and an attempt to sneak through some graduation of the income tax despite voters saying five times that they don’t want this. We’ll count that in our 2015 rating too.
We hope the House prevails at the SJC, ending this fiasco.