Thursday, November 06, 2008

MA Rejects Elimination of State Income Tax

From the Boston Herald:

Massachusetts’s voters rejected a call to eliminate the state’s income tax after critics said it would have wreaked fiscal havoc at a time when the state is already grappling with a financial downturn.

The measure would have cut the 5.3 percent tax rate in half in January, and then killed it completely in January 2010.

Supporters, led by the Committee for Small Government, had argued the best way to cut government waste and overspending was to eliminate the tax, which would have reduced annual state revenues by 40 percent or about $12.5 billion.

Backers also said the question would have saved the average taxpayer about $3,700.

Committee Chairwoman Carla Howell blamed the defeat on the massive advertising campaign by opponents of the measure, saying both sides were initially in a dead heat in the polls and that voters were ultimately swayed by "scare tactics." Opponents spent more than $5 million while supporters raised only about $500,000.

"We knew this was a David vs. Goliath battle," Howell said. "All we needed was a bigger stone."

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