Massachusetts voters have told them four times, and they will tell them again – NO TAX INCREASES!

WASHINGTON – Recognizing the most brazen move in state tax reform history, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) urges Massachusetts voters to vote "yes" on Question 1 – to repeal the state income tax entirely.

In 1980, Massachusetts voters approved Proposition 2 ½ , limiting property tax increases to two-and-a-half percent. Twice, voters defeated a proposition to introduce a graduated state income tax – in 1976 and again in 1994. Now, Beacon Hill has decided to halt the voter-approved income tax rollback at 5.3% (the rollback was supposed to be rolled back to 5% from 5.95% for 2003) – and it\’s time for voters to get hard-hitting and for Beacon Hill to listen.

"Over and over, Massachusetts voters have voted to lift the tax burden from their wallets," commented Grover Norquist, President of ATR, "and again, Beacon Hill has decided to do things their way and ignore the wishes of the voters."

The Massachusetts state legislature continues to fret over the current budget crisis and legislators stand a good chance of going back to Beacon Hill for a special session as they continue to disagree with Governor Swift over budget solutions. And now, instead of making budget cuts and limiting spending in these hard economic times, the new rumor is that the legislature intends to increase the state income tax rate back up to 5.6%.

"When will Beacon Hill listen?" continued Norquist. "Let\’s take another nine billion dollars away from the legislators and see what they do then – maybe, just maybe, they will finally get the message – no new taxes!"

If Question 1 is approved on November 5th, the income tax repeal will take effect on income earned after July 1, 2003. It is estimated that the state government will lose $9 billion in revenues if the state income tax is repealed. The state currently faces an estimated $1 billion – $2 billion budget shortfall for the next fiscal year.