Every tax is a pay cut. Every tax cut is a pay raise.
Citizens for Limited Taxation
|Restore the 5% tax rate.||Thursday, May 13, 2004|
|Jack Prindiville||Metrowest Daily News|
No time for a tax cut is the title of Sunday's
MWDN editorial referring to the state's income tax. Well, if not now,
please give us a date.
In the late '80s, Gov. Dukakis passed what we were told was a "temporary" tax increase from five to more than six percent in response to a fiscal crisis. We were promised once this situation was brought under control that the tax rate would revert back to five percent. Some time later as a result of a substantial increase in state tax revenues due to the stock market boom, the Legislature agreed reluctantly to modestly reduce the income tax to 5.9 percent, where it remained throughout the '90s.
In 2000, out of frustration over the Legislature's failure to live up to its promises, the voters passed by a 60 to 40 percent majority a referendum to reduce the tax rate to 5 percent. The Legislature thwarted again the public's will by halting the reduction to 5.3 percent, where it remains now.
Why is it that the Legislature can oppose the voters' will and get away with it? Simple: most Democrat legislators have no Republican opponents and are re-elected by default. This is what has been happening in Framingham. Gov. Romney in 2002, running on a reform platform and a pledge to return to the five percent rate, carried Framingham by more than 1,600 votes. Our Democrat legislators, Sen. Magnani and Reps. Blumer and Spilka, were re-elected by default and have done everything they can to undermine Romney's reform efforts. Rep. Blumer has gone so far as to vote recently to hike the income tax rate from 5.3 to 5.95 percent.
The only way to get the Legislature to vote to restore the tax rate to 5 percent is to vote in Republican legislators. For the first time in recent memory, Framingham will have this year a full slate of highly qualified Republican legislative candidates. Now we were have an opportunity to send a message to Beacon Hill that we want the rate restored to 5 percent, which was promised to us years ago.
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