CARLA HOWELL’S OP-ED COLUMN FOR THE SUNDAY BOSTON GLOBE
Below is Carla Howell’s final draft of her Op-Ed Column for the Sunday,
September 21 edition of the Boston Globe:
Why Haven’t You Been Told These Things About Ballot Question 1?
by Carla Howell
Why are 1,350,000 Massachusetts voters already planning to vote YES on
Question 1 to end the state income tax?
First let’s look at what happens if you join those YES voters – and what
happens if you don’t.
If you vote YES, we end the state income tax, let 3.4 million workers
get back an average of $3,700 each, every year, and roll back annual
state government spending to $34.7 billion.
If you vote NO, we keep the state income tax, require those workers to
keep paying an average of $3,700 each every year, and maintain state
government spending at $47.3 billion.
Which choice, which vote is better for the 3.4 million workers and
taxpayers of Massachusetts? Let’s look at some key Massachusetts
The $28.2 billion “budget” figure tossed around is only part of it –
called the Statutory Budget. There are three other parts of the complete
budget: NON-Budgeted Spending, Capital Spending, and Expendable Trust
Spending(1). These four budgets come to $47.3 billion in state
government spending for this year.
Massachusetts cities and towns are spending $27+ billion(2) this year.
That totals $74.3 billion in Massachusetts government spending. Subtract
$5 billion in state funds given to cities and towns (to avoid double
counting) and subtract another $12.6 billion from the state income tax.
What’s left? $56.7 billion for city, town and state governments AFTER we
end the income tax – way more than needed to fund every essential
Government waste is one reason why so many voters already plan to vote
YES on Question 1. Last April, Fabrizio Surveys asked Massachusetts
voters this question: “How many cents out of every dollar you pay in
state taxes would you say is wasted by the state government?” Their
average estimate was “41 cents.”
Ending the income tax will cut state spending by just 27%, leaving
billions of dollars in state government waste still to cut – without
even touching the waste in local government spending.
There’s one more number that will make you feel at home if you’re
inclined to vote YES on Question 1.
45% of Massachusetts voters already plan to vote YES on Question 1 –
according to three polls, approximately the same number that polls show
will vote against Question 1. With a November 4th voter turnout of 3
million, that comes to a whopping 1,350,000 votes to end the state
The numbers show we can easily afford to end the income tax and how many
voters want it. But it’s the benefits to the people of Massachusetts
that make a YES vote on Question 1 a real winner.
Voting YES will give back over $3,700 each, on average, to over 3,400,
000 Massachusetts workers and taxpayers. That’s a $3,700 pay hike for
each of them, not just once, but every year.
It will take $12.6 billion out of the hands of Beacon Hill politicians –
and put it back into the hands of the men and women who earned it. Every
In productive, private hands this $12.6 billion a year will create
hundreds of thousands of new jobs in Massachusetts.
This tax cut will force the state legislature to streamline and cut the
waste out of the Massachusetts state budget.
It will force the state legislature to get rid of the failed, flawed
government programs that don’t work – and often make things worse.
It will make the state legislature accountable to Massachusetts workers
and taxpayers – instead of the government employees, lobbyists, and
special interests who profit from high government spending.
With less government and no income tax, Massachusetts will become a
magnet to private, productive businesses and individuals. This will
bring the state more good jobs and more good workers.
A YES vote will enable Massachusetts families to pay off their mounting
bills and debts – and save thousands of them from home foreclosures and
By making the Massachusetts total tax burden more affordable, we’ll
allow more of our young people to stay in Massachusetts near their
family, their friends, and their home.
These are the reasons why you should vote YES on Question 1 to end the
income tax. It’s not just what’s best for you. It’s what’s best for 3.4
million Massachusetts workers and taxpayers – and their families.
Pages 308 – 312)
&f=dls_mdmstuf_aag_aagindex&csid=Ador , See Fiscal Year 2007 Schedule A,
Actual revenues/expenditures for each town. Adjust up $1.3 billion for
all towns to bring budget current.)