Public warned against being educated by propaganda
The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance (MassFiscal), Citizens for Limited Taxation (CLT), Beacon Hill Institute President Dr. David Tuerck, National Federation of Independent Business Massachusetts State Director Christopher Carlozzi and a bipartisan group of state lawmakers, including State Senator Ryan Fattman as well as State Representatives Colleen Garry, David DeCoste, Marc Lombardo and Nicholas Boldyga, recently warned the public about an upcoming ballot question proposed by the legislature. The question would amend the state constitution and allow the legislature to raise the income tax rate on specific groups. The announcement was prompted by a study done by the Center for State Policy Analysis at Tufts University and a push poll done by the MassINC Polling Group in support of Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka’s ballot question.
Tuerck offered comments about the study and warned the public that giving lawmakers the ability to raise the income tax would have a negative impact on many taxpayers across the Commonwealth. CLT Executive Director Chip Ford, a veteran of similar ballot fights, pointed to the fact that past attempts to raise the income tax have been failed by the voters on five separate occasions. MassFiscal Spokesperson Paul Craney highlighted that watchdog organizations will continue to vocally warn the public about propaganda being pushed on them from proponents trying to confuse them on the legislature’s ballot question. Carlozzi emphasized that Massachusetts should not be raising taxes and instead warned the legislature and the public that the focus should be an economic recovery. A bipartisan group of lawmakers made it clear that despite what push polls want the public to believe, any tax collected by this potential ballot question will enter the state’s general fund, be completely subject to the spending priorities of the legislature and would not be guaranteed to fund transportation or education.
“What brings us together today is our joint recognition that the public needs to be warned about the realities of this November’s ballot question, which would empower the legislature to raise the state’s income tax,” said Craney. “This is not a citizen’s petition, it’s a group of lawmakers that want to raise taxes at a time when the state is beyond flush with cash, but everyday residents are being slammed with record inflation, a potential recession, and continue in the dredging on of a major pandemic.”
“Any explicit promise that these funds would be guaranteed to increase our transportation and education spending are simply propaganda. The SJC [Supreme Judicial Court] ruled that promise unconstitutional in 2018 and the legislature has a very poor track record of abiding by the wishes of voters regarding ballot questions when it conflicts with their own spending priorities,” said DeCoste.
“CLT has spent decades defending the taxpayers and we have consistently seen similar attempts to confuse the public. What the public needs to always understand is that they have a constitutional guarantee for equal taxation, and what could be more fair than that?” asked Ford. “In our opinion, it has worked for hundreds of years and it needs to be protected for hundreds of years to come.”
CLT was founded to oppose and defeat the fourth graduated income tax scheme in 1976 and led the also-successful opposition which defeated the next grad tax proposal on the 1994 ballot.
“Several national studies revealed just last week that Massachusetts saw the highest outward migration of population in New England,” said Tuerck. “Massachusetts saw some of the highest rates in the country for population loss. Among the reasons for why these people left was due to taxes. If we want to stop losing people to other tax friendly states, we must first stop raising taxes and then do everything we can to keep them here. Raising the income tax is a good way to accelerate the population loss.”