2008 Massachusetts Ballot Initiative ("Question 1") to End the Income Tax

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Quotes and Endorsements

Wall Street Journal

“The forces of the tax‐and‐spend status quo will descend on this initiative like British troops after the original Boston tea party, but somebody has to make an effort to stop the relentless growth of government.” - Read editorial

Steve Forbes of Forbes Magazine:

“This is an attack on political establishments there and throughout the U.S. that routinely put their own interests above those of their constituents: lavish government pensions with payouts that would bankrupt private companies; resistance to genuine reform in Medicaid spending, which has become the biggest item on virtually every state's budget; ever more pork‐barrel spending; and ever more obsequiousness to rapacious special interests. Bay State voters – go for Proposition 1 [Question 1].” - Read column

Americans for Tax Reform

Endorses Yes vote on Question 1 in Massachusetts

Boston.com - Jeff Jacoby - A resolution: Abolish the income tax

"To begin with, Massachusetts without a personal income tax would not be a "place with no taxes." It would be a place with corporate income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, meals taxes, hotel taxes, excise taxes, workers' compensation taxes, estate taxes, capital gains taxes, gasoline taxes, cigarette taxes, wine and liquor taxes, motor vehicle taxes, and real estate transfer taxes, not to mention the taxes ("license fees") imposed on a vast array of professions and occupations." Read column.

John Cunningham for Congress, 3rd District

“I am going to vote yes on question 1… will you please do the same?”

Brion Cangiamila for State Senate, 4th Middlesex:

I promise, if elected, to vote against any budget higher than the level necessary to END the income tax - so there is no need to reinstate any part of it nor to raise any other tax or revenue to replace it.

Mike Franco for Governor's Council

“My campaign supports the Question 1 initiative 110%”

Keith McCormick, Teacher and candidate for State Senate

“Question 1 returns both means and meaning to the difficult, ordinary work of sustaining our extraordinary civilization. The radicals who support [keeping] the income tax offer nothing but fear and callous disregard for these most important things in life. To those demagogues money and power have become the end instead of a means to do good work. ...The most vulnerable among us cry out for help, for love, for justice from an uncaring political machine gorging itself on your tax dollars. So if you have any decency, any warmth in your heart, any shred of human kindness left in your soul, vote yes on Question 1. Please - yes!”


"You are about to vote on Question 1: Elimination of the income tax. I am a card-carrying, unrepentant, far-left goody-two shoes bleeding heart liberal. Radical, even. Yet I plan to vote for Q1." - Read Column

Chuck Ormsby, North Andover School Committee Member:

“End the state income tax. It is your money. But it is being taken from you to line the pockets of special interests.”

Barbara Anderson, Executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation

“Question One is the only game in town: the only way to save the Commonwealth from its corrupt and irresponsible politics. We deserve better and Question 1 will demand that.”

Jeff Beatty for US Senate

“Taxes --- We need to lower taxes. End of Story”

Bob Thomas for State Representative, 4th Norfolk district

“I support and endorse voting Yes on Question 1 to eliminate the state income tax.”

The Daily News Tribune - Harold Wolfe

"The state loses $12.7 billion of OUR monies that they would have spent as they pleased and we the taxpayers gain back $12.7 billion of OUR monies to spend as we please. This is not a trade or a swap. The state government LOSES, the taxpayers GAIN. Period. End of discussion."

Richard J. Howell, President Natural Rights and Laws Compact:

We urge all of our fellow citizens to vote yes on Question 1. It is not just preferable but imperative that the people let their voices be heard on this crucial issue. The Commonwealth has more than enough of our tax dollars and avenues of taxation to operate our government. Now is the time for us to act while we are still able.

Earl Sholley for Congress:

“I believe in less government, fewer taxes, term limits, and public service, not personal enrichment. We cannot continue to spend more money than we take in. I will vote to continue the tax cuts, and give additional relief to families.”

Dan Haley for State Representative

“I do intend to vote for Question One. The message being sent is a necessary one, an overdue one, and one that will embarrass our legislative leadership and – hopefully – spur them to some degree of fiscal responsibility; but local services will not be eviscerated.”

Ron Chernisky for State Representative

“Beacon Hill has the wrong priorities; I know that we can do better!”

John Blaisdell for State Representative:

"There is no other remedy to the problem of the wasteful spending that is being done up on Beacon Hill."

Antony Lucacio for State Representative:

“We can’t tax our way out of tough economic times. The right thing to do is to put more money into the taxpayer’s pockets and let them stimulate the economy.”
CJ Ferry for State Representative: The citizens of the Commonwealth and business have stated over and over again, STOP spending and trim the fat. Cut taxes.


What the news media said about our 45.3% vote to END the Income Tax in Massachusetts in 2002:

The Boston Globe, November 7, 2002:

"The biggest surprise Tuesday night didn't turn out to be the governor's race, after all. It was the big vote in favor of eliminating the state income tax."

"To my knowledge, no one took any polls indicating that nearly half the voters wanted to scrap the income tax."

National Review, November 7, 2002:

"While the elite media, often graduates of prestigious universities, have no comprehension of basic macroeconomics, it appears that the public has begun to develop some. The initiative to completely eliminate the income tax in Massachusetts, which had been ridiculed by editorialists throughout the Commonwealth, came within a whisker of victory."

Boston Herald Editorial, November 7, 2002:

"Living in Massachusetts and being bombarded constantly (before, during and after the campaign season) with the demands of public employee unions (teachers, police officers, state workers), we tend to forget at times that they do not represent the needs and the desires of most voters...

"We have only to look at the exceedingly narrow defeat of Question 1 - the repeal of the state income tax - to realize that is as true now as then. Some 45 percent of voters (nearly 900,000 people) were perfectly willing to take $8.5 billion out of state coffers and put it back in their own pockets."

The Economist via Massachustts News, November 15, 2002:

"The 'stunner' of the recent election, according to The Economist magazine, is the fact that [45] percent of Massachusetts voters gave a thumbs up to Ballot Question 1..."

The Union Leader, November 7, 2002:

"The income tax is so unpopular that a ballot measure to kill it in Massachusetts got nearly 50 percent of the vote on Tuesday. "

Howie Carr, Boston Herald, November 8, 2002:

"(There is) deep consternation in certain circles about another huge number that was rung up on Tuesday - 881,738, to be exact." [N.B. final official vote count in 2002: 886,313]

"That was the number of Massachusetts citizens who voted yes on Question 1, to abolish their state income taxes. Some people are scratching their heads, saying, what message was this mean-spirited 45 percent of the electorate trying to deliver to Beacon Hill?"

"As one of the 881,738, I can answer that question. We meant to stop paying state income taxes. We desired to opt for the New Hampshire solution. We wanted a 5.3 percent pay raise."

The Boston Globe, November 6, 2002:

"Howell came closest to hitting the jackpot with her ballot initiative to repeal the state income tax, which drew substantial support."

The New Bedford Standard Times, November 6, 2002:

"The put-the-brakes-on-government theme was picked up in the referendum questions, where a total repeal of the state income tax came within a statistical whisker of passing, despite the universal condemnation of the political establishment."

The Boston Globe, November 6, 2002:

"But the prospect of saving on their tax bills clearly resonated with many voters. The measure fared best in the Berkshires and on the Cape as well as rural towns in Western Massachusetts, according to a Globe analysis of early poll results."

LA Times, September 29, 2002:

"Its mere presence on the ballot...reflects a creeping cantankerousness among some segments of the always unpredictable Yankee electorate...

"The very simplicity of Howell's proposal is why Widmer (corporate lobbyist whose organization - Massachusetts 'Taxpayers' Foundation - opposes Question 1), for one, fears that some citizens may embrace it."

Massachusetts News, December, 2002:

"Most people give Carla Howell and Michael Cloud a tremendous amount of credit for popularizing the idea of ending the state income tax."

Boston Weekly Dig, October 16, 2002:

"Question 1, which would eliminate the Massachusetts Income Tax, could quite possibly be the single most important ballot question Massachusetts voters have ever considered."

"If Question 1 is passed, it will provide one hell of a shock to a system that has seldom concerned itself with saving money."

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), October 17, 2002:

"Recognizing the most brazen move in state tax reform history, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) urges Massachusetts voters to vote 'yes' on Question 1 - to repeal the state income tax entirely."