2008 Massachusetts Ballot Initiative
("Question 1") to End the Income Tax
Current campaigns and projects
EndorsementsWall 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.” -
Steve Forbes of
“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].” -
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.
Franco for Governor's Council
“My campaign supports the Question 1
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." -
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
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
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
Ron Chernisky for State
“Beacon Hill has the wrong priorities; I know that
we can do better!”
John Blaisdell for
"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.
the news media said about our 45.3% vote to END the Income Tax in Massachusetts
in 2002:The Boston Globe, November 7,
"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."
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
"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
The Economist via Massachustts
News, November 15, 2002:
"The 'stunner' of the recent election,
according to The Economist magazine, is the fact that  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. "
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:
"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."
Bedford Standard Times, November 6, 2002:
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."
"Most people give Carla Howell and Michael Cloud a
tremendous amount of credit for popularizing the idea of ending the state income
Boston Weekly Dig, October 16,
"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."