2008 Information For Voters

QUESTION 1: Law Proposed by Initiative Petition

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 6, 2008?

SUMMARY

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 reduce the state personal income tax rate to 2.65% for all categories of taxable income for the tax year beginning on or after January 1, 2009, and would eliminate the tax for all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2010. The personal income 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 in a tax year beginning before January 1, 2009. The proposed law states that if any of its parts were declared invalid, the other parts would stay in effect.

WHAT YOUR VOTE WILL DO

A YES VOTE would reduce the state personal income tax rate to 2.65% for the tax year beginning on January 1, 2009, and would eliminate the tax for all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2010.

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

See Full Text of Question 1

ARGUMENTS

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: "41% waste in Massachusetts state government," reveals survey. Eliminating government waste is one reason to vote "Yes."

Your "Yes" vote cuts your state income taxes 50% starting this January 1st - and eliminates the last 50% next January 1st. For you and for 3,400,000 Massachusetts workers and taxpayers.

Your "Yes" vote gives back $3,700 each to 3,400,000 Massachusetts workers and taxpayers - including you - on average when we end the state income tax. $3,700. Each worker. Every year.

Your "Yes" vote will create hundreds of thousands of new Massachusetts jobs.

Your "Yes" vote will NOT raise your property taxes NOR any other taxes.

Your "Yes" vote will NOT cut, NOR require cuts, of any essential government services.

Your "Yes" vote rolls back state government spending 27% - $47.3 billion to $34.7 billion - more than state government spending in 1999.

3,400,000 Massachusetts workers, taxpayers and their families need your help. Please vote "Yes."

Authored by:
Carla Howell, Chair
The Committee For Small Government
P.O. Box 5268
Wayland, MA 01778
508-630-9520
www.SmallGovernmentAct.org

AGAINST: This legally binding initiative would slash state revenues by more than $12 billion a year - nearly 40 percent of the state budget.

It would force dramatic cuts in state aid to cities and towns, driving up property taxes and reducing funding for vital local services.

It would mean a drastic reduction in state funding for local public schools - leading to teacher layoffs, school closings and other cutbacks that would harm our children's education.

It would threaten public safety by cutting funds for police, fire protection and emergency medical services.

It would prevent us from making badly needed repairs to the state's aging roads and bridges, or making other investments needed to attract businesses and create jobs.

And it could force the state to raise other taxes and fees that would hit moderate-income families hardest.

Times are tough enough. Let's not make them worse. Vote NO.

Authored by:
Peter Meade, Chair
Coalition for Our Communities
150 Mt. Vernon St., Suite 200
Dorchester, MA 02125
617-284-1208
www.VoteNoQuestion1.com