The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, Citizens for Limited Taxation, Dr. David Tuerck of the Beacon Hill Institute, Chris Carlozzi of the National Federation of Independent Business, and a bi-partisan group of state lawmakers including State Senator Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton), State Representatives Colleen Garry (D-Dracut), David DeCoste (R-Norwell), Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica) and Nick Boldyga (S-Southwick) came together for a press conference to warn the public about the upcoming ballot question proposed by the legislature that would amend the state constitution and allow the legislature to raise the income tax rate on specific groups.
Today’s press conference was prompted by a study done by the Center for State Policy Analysis at Tufts University and push poll done by MassInc polling in support of Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka’s ballot question. Dr. Tuerck of BHI, 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 state. Chip Ford of CLT, who is a veteran of similar ballot fights, pointed to the fact that past attempts to raise the income tax have failed by the voters on five separate occasions. Paul Craney of MassFiscal highlighted that watch dog 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. Chris Carlozzi of the NFIB emphasized that Massachusetts should not be raising taxes and instead warned the legislature and the public that the focus should be an economic recovery.
The press conference included a bipartisan group of lawmakers who 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. This is not a citizens 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,” stated Paul Diego Craney, spokesperson of Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.
“Any explicit promise that these funds would be guaranteed to increase our transportation and education spending are simply propaganda. The SJC 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 State Representative David DeCoste of Norwell.
“As lawmakers, it’s our responsibility to serve our constituents. We do that in many ways including respecting the will of the voters who have rejected a similar effort on five separate occasions. This effort is being proposed by lawmakers and not the public. There will be a lot of propaganda out there to confuse the public and we hope that today we made it a little bit clearer for them that they should be skeptical of calls for raising the income tax rate,” stated State Senator Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton), State Representatives Colleen Garry (D-Dracut), Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica) and Nick Boldyga (R-Southwick).
“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? In our opinion, it has worked for hundreds of years and it needs to be protected for hundreds of years to come,” stated Chip Ford, executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. 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. MA 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,” concluded Dr. David Tuerck of the Beacon Hill Institute.
The full press conference can be viewed on our YouTube page by clicking here.