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Editorials and Opinions

In with the income tax

By Denebola
Published: October 2008

In a time of financial turmoil and rising unemployment, it is tempting to want to pay less in taxes. Be assured, however, that voting Yes on Ballot Question 1–which, if passed, would repeal the state income tax–would create far more problems than it would fix.

The income tax brings the state government $12 billion annually. The current $1.4 billion state budget shortfall has led to massive cuts in social services.

Imagine those cuts multiplied by 8.6′€courts, prisons, health services, and the State Police would all suffer the consequences.

A Massachusetts Taxpayer Association study estimates that most state programs would face 70 percent cuts, and all this on the heels of an estimated $200 million decrease in tax revenues from last year due to the worsening economy.

Worst of all, the move would be highly regressive. The greatest cuts would go to the wealthiest families and individuals, with a $16,295 savings for families making more than $100,000 a year and an $850 savings for families making less than $50,000 a year, according to the same MTA study.

The money the state government would lose would have to be at least partially made up in sales taxes. If this measure is taken, it will disproportionately hurt the poor.

If the state is to fulfill its obligations to the people of Massachusetts, Ballot Question One cannot pass.

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