2002 Information For Voters

QUESTION 1: Law Proposed by Initiative Petition

Eliminating State Personal Income Tax

Do you approve of a law summarized below, on which no vote was taken by the Senate or the House of Representatives before May 1, 2002?


As required by law, summaries are written by the state Attorney General, and the statements describing the effect of a "yes" or "no" vote are written jointly by the State Attorney General and the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

This proposed law would provide that no income or other gain realized on or after July 1, 2003, would be subject to the state personal income tax. That tax applies to income received or gain realized by individuals and married couples, by estates of deceased persons, by certain trustees and other fiduciaries, by persons who are partners in and receive income from partnerships, by corporate trusts, and by persons who receive income as shareholders of “S corporations” as defined under federal tax law. The proposed law would not affect the tax due on income or gain realized before July 1, 2003.
The proposed law states that if any of its parts were declared invalid, the other parts would stay in effect.


A YES VOTE would eliminate any state personal income tax for income or other gain realized on or after July 1, 2003.

A NO VOTE would make no change in state tax laws.

See full text of Question 1


As provided by law, the 150-word arguments are written by proponents and opponents of each question, and reflect their opinions. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not endorse these arguments, and does not certify the truth or accuracy of any statement made in these arguments. The names of the individuals and organizations who wrote each argument, and any written comments by others about each argument, are on file in the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

In Favor: Your “yes” vote to end the state income tax means that 3,000,000 working people in Massachusetts will each get back $3,000 every year. $3,000 every year to spend or save, to give to churches, charities, or favorite causes. For our families, businesses, neighborhoods, and communities.

Your “yes” vote to end the state income tax will create 300,000 to 500,000 new jobs in Massachusetts. Jobs for our out-of-work relatives, friends, and neighbors. Jobs for our graduates

Massachusetts state government spending has more than doubled in 10 years. $10 billion under Michael Dukakis in 1991 to $23 billion today.

Are public schools delivering double the education? Are our streets twice as well maintained? Is Logan Airport twice as safe as it was 10 years ago?

Your “yes” vote to end the state income tax is a vote to downsize our high tax, wasteful, bloated, ever-growing, greedy government. A vote for small government.

Authored by:
Carla Howell, Chair
The Committee for Small Government
P.O. Box 404
Wayland, MA 01778

Against: This proposal, offered by leaders of the Libertarian Party, would abolish the state income tax, eliminating nearly 60 percent of state taxes, throwing the state budget into chaos, and jeopardizing the state’s bond rating. No one likes paying taxes, but that’s how we pay for basic services like schools and teachers, health care, environmental protection, local aid that funds police and fire protection, nursing homes for the elderly, human services and infrastructure. The income tax, enacted nearly a century ago, has been the principal source of state finances for decades. That’s why business and labor leaders have come together to oppose this reckless initiative. It’s why not a single member of the legislature, House or Senate, Democrat or Republican, voted to support it. It’s why not a single Republican or Democratic candidate for Governor supports it. Join them to protect the state’s future. Vote no.

Authored by:
Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation
333 Washington Street, Suite 853
Boston, MA 02108

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