2008 Massachusetts Ballot Initiative ("Question 1") to End the Income Tax
Current campaigns and projects
Quotes and EndorsementsWall Street Journal
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:
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
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:
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
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!”
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
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
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:
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:
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
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:
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
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:
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
"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:
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:
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...
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:
'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:
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:
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
The Boston Globe, November 6, 2002:
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:
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:
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:
mere presence on the ballot...reflects a creeping cantankerousness
among some segments of the always unpredictable Yankee electorate...
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:
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:
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:
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."