Thursday, June 26, 2008

Taxachussetts Axing Its Income Tax?

The news to the north of us in Massachusetts is that the good people who once dumped tea in Boston harbor to protest taxes and an indifferent ruling power are once again upset by high taxes.

Like Connecticut, Massachusetts has been for many years a one party state. Like Connecticut, spending in Massachusetts has increased to a point where further increases threaten to beggar the population. Like Connecticut, the ruling powers occasionally take a break from spending to remind the people they are representing that they live in a representative democracy and can cashier their politicians whenever they like.

Unlike Connecticut, Massachusetts has a ballot initiative, a political instrument that can be used by voters to reduce their tax burden and send a message to fat, greedy politicians in the grip of special interests.

The axe the tax forces also have made a powerful argument for budget transparency:

And very shortly Massachusetts will use its ballot initiative to attempt to repeal the state income tax.

At which point one may expect business and industry in Connecticut to migrate north to the land of Sam Adams, whose stirring words are enshrined in the mast head of this blog: “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We seek not your counsel or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; may your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!”

Very shortly in Connecticut, a measure to call a state constitutional convention will appear on the ballot. The question is required by law to appear on the state ballot once every 20 years. During such a convention, the state will be able to amend the constitution to allow for ballot initiative and state budget referendums.


Anonymous said...

In Washington state, which collectively I would guess is not as liberal as Massachusetts, the voters have also scrapped the state income tax. In WA there is a bit of a schizophrenic notion of entitlements, as the voters will often vote in all sorts of ideas that sound good but when the receipt shows up they bail.

Don Pesci said...

Republicans here in Connecticut, if I read them right, probably would be delighted if Massachusetts were successful in abolishing its income tax. The income tax imposed by Weicker is a long and politically sordid tale. Its effect mostly has been to depress wages and increase spending. The last pre-income tax budget was &7.5 billion; the current budget is more than twice that. Here the Republican Party is dying from moderation. I’m writing something about that now, and have written about it before.

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