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Massachusetts To Vote To Remove State Income Tax.

Wish I still lived there at this point in time to get to vote on this. Sure, it was always called “Taxachusetts” and my family always complains about how high the taxes are, but if proponents of this measure have their way, state income tax will no longer be collected in Massachusetts. I am a believer that we need to pay enough taxes to take care of everything that needs taking care of, but I also believe that Massachusetts overtaxes its citizens and overspends on state projects.

Could this be a setup for other states to follow suite?


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Comments (7)

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  1. Wow really? What are they going to do to replace this income? I grew up in Mass and have friends who live there. I know New Hampshire doesn’t have state income tax and they have high property taxes. My mom lives in NH and pays $500 a month just in property taxes.

  2. David says:

    Prop taxes are not cheap in Mass either, my mom pays about $6K a year for her house!

  3. Uh-Oh says:

    I don’t see any way this is not going to be regressive.

  4. Here are some snippets from a Boston Globe editorial on this issue, and they pretty much reflect my feeling, as a Massachusetts resident, on the matter:

    On “Taxachusetts”:

    After steady work by fiscal conservatives in the Legislature, Massachusetts has shed its “Taxachusetts” epithet and now ranks 32nd for overall tax burden – that is, all taxes paid as a percentage of personal income. That is below the national average and well below competitor states such as New Jersey, California and Michigan.

    David said, “I also believe that Massachusetts overtaxes its citizens and overspends on state projects.”

    Do you have any facts to back this up, or is it just a belief?

    More from the editorial:

    The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimates that some $13 billion in state spending is non-discretionary: required by court order, the constitution, or federal law. The $12 billion cut would have to come out of what is left.

    The state could stop spending every dime it now spends on local aid and every dime on human service programs – food banks, domestic violence and homeless shelters, care for autistic children, substance abuse and more – and still not have enough to make up for what is lost to Question 1. The state could fire all 67,000 state employees – every prison guard and college teacher – and still have to find another $7 billion.

    This ballot question, if passed, will certainly have devastating consequences on the residents of Massachusetts, especially those least in a position to help themselves. Hardest hit will be cities and towns, most of which are still reeling from the massive budget cuts made under the Governance of Mitt Romney. Because cities and towns cannot finance their obligations, some of them are all but bankrupt at this point.

    Property taxes in the state will certainly have to go up if there is any hope of keeping schools open, an adequate police force on the streets, etc. Each town sets it’s own tax rate, and to give you an idea of how wildly these vary, the rates run anywhere from $1.87/1000 to $18.36/1000. The town average payments per single family home run from $780 to $13,739, with the average Massachusetts single family homeowner paying $3,962.

    For what it’s worth, tax rates in New Hampshire are much higher since there are no income taxes and no sales taxes. You can’t have it both ways.

    The last point: I don’t believe that strangling our government, whether it be local, state, or federal to death in an attempt to force out the inefficiencies is an effective way to reduce spending. Yes, I would like to see my tax bill lower, who wouldn’t? But 5% is not an undue burden, and the value that comes from this tax is important to me AND my home value. Who would want to move into Massachusetts when schools don’t have enough money and there are not enough police to keep order? This will lead to lower home values and ever increasing property tax rates.

    If you think this bill is a good idea, then I challenge you to balance the budget via this interactive tool:

    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2008/specials/budget_game/

    I’d really like to know where you would cut spending to close the budget gap that this bill will create.

  5. david says:

    My entire family lives in Mass and I grew up there, and every single one of them say that taxes are too high. I have never heard a resident of Mass say that taxes were not too high. And you know that I thoroughly believe in funding social programs – I am just going on the word on the ground within my entire extended family, which is quite large throughout S. Boston.

  6. Are you aware of any place where people don’t complain about high taxes? People’s own perceptions can be seriously flawed with respect to the truth. The statistics cited in the Boston Globe are pretty compelling in this regard.

    But even if Mass residents pay an undue tax burden, is the right way to tackle it to simply eliminate a major portion of the state income?

  7. david says:

    Yea – here in NM LOL. People don’t complain about taxes here. I do see what you are saying, I really do. And Mass real estate is taxed more than California is; my mom pays more for her little 3 bedroom house than my old boss did on his 5,000 sq foot house.

    My point is that something needs to be done in Mass as well as in other places. I just liked that Mass was even considering doing something. We all pay too much in taxes compared to what we get back, right? I wish the money we paid in was spent correctly, but it’s not. I dont mind paying taxes; I just dont like to see it wasted. I think Mass bringing this up will open up the discussion…and get my entire family in Southie to stop yapping about it.

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