A Big Win for the Citizens of Massachusetts!
Why can one simple sales tax reduction can jump-start the Massachusetts economy, revive retail businesses, create tens of thousands of NEW private sector jobs, and put cash money in the pockets of Massachusetts shoppers?
See for yourself…
First, Look at the Massachusetts Mess
Unemployment. In August 2008, it was 5.5%. August 2009, unemployment was 8.8%. Unofficial estimates put unemployment over 16% — one in every six workers without a job.
Home Foreclosures. 72,225 home foreclosures in Massachusetts in the last 18 months. Up 150% from the previous 18 months. In a state with only 2.5 million households.
Medical Insurance costs up 40%. “Massachusetts has the most expensive family health insurance premiums in the country, according to a new analysis done by the Commonwealth Fund,” writes the Boston Globe.
“The average family premium for plans offered by employers in Massachusetts was $13,788 in 2008, 40 percent higher than in 2003.” (8/22/09) 21% HIGHER increase than the average national increase.
Research Warned Against Tax Increase. In May 2009, a Beacon Hill Institute Study found that raising the sales tax to 6.25% will:
- Drain $900 million in new taxes each year out of the pockets of consumers and the revenues of retail businesses.
- Destroy 12,666 private sector jobs.
- Create 6,579 NEW tax-funded government jobs.
- Reduce Massachusetts private sector investment by $51 million.
Massive job losses, skyrocketing home foreclosures, ballooning medical insurance premiums in Massachusetts, and strong evidence that a sales tax increase will hurt Massachusetts workers and retailers.
If you were in charge of Massachusetts, what would you do?
Compare your answer to what Governor Deval Patrick and the state legislature did.
First, they finagled a multi-billion dollar federal government bailout for the state government.
Then they raised the sales tax on retail businesses and shoppers from 5% to 6.25%.
Why Roll Back the Sales Tax from 6.25% to 3%?
Why not go after the state income tax again? Because the state Constitution prohibits us from an END the Income Tax Initiative until 2014.
Why not a ballot Initiative to END the sales tax? Because the state government is using just under 3% of these revenues as collateral for government bonds. We cannot legally zero out the sales tax so long as that revenue remains pledged against bonds. So we’re running a ballot Initiative to roll back the sales tax as low as the law safely allows. 3%.
The metrics of the Beacon Hill study reveal that every .25% sales tax increase kills 2,533 private sector jobs, creates 1,316 tax-funded government jobs, kills $10.2 million a year in private investment, and sucks up $180 million a year in new taxes.
Fine. Let’s use those metrics to see what will happen when we roll back the sales tax from 6.25% to 3%.
Benefits of Rolling Back the Sales Tax to 3%:
- Creates 32,929 NEW private sector jobs in Massachusetts
- Eliminates 17,108 unneeded tax-funded government jobs
- Attracts $132.6 million in new private investment to Massachusetts
- Reduces the total tax burden by $2.34 billion
- Reduces total state government spending — which is $51 billion today – by 4.7%.
$2.34 back in the pockets of 3,400,000 Massachusetts workers and their families. Every year. That’s an average of $688/year.
- Gives Massachusetts shoppers a big savings for buying in Massachusetts — instead of driving to tax-free New Hampshire to avoid our 6.25% sales tax. This will mean tens of millions of dollars in additional business each year for Massachusetts Retailers.
Will the People of Massachusetts Vote FOR this Tax Roll Back?
This time, they might.
Carla Howell has already spoken at 5 different Tea Parties – and the huge crowds are made up of people who are brand new to politics. Most of them are independent voters.
When polled, the overwhelming majority of them want to make today’s Big Government much smaller than it is today. They want to dramatically reduce government spending, borrowing, and taxes.
Or look at Town Hall Meetings with elected politicians. In the past, maybe 100 or 150 people showed up for 1 meeting. Now 500 to 1,000 to 2,000 people show up – at each of 2 or 3 or 4 Town Hall Meetings. And NOT the same people each time. The majority are different people. Most of them are independents – and NEW to politics.
As a group, Town Hall attendees are 15 to 20 years older than Tea Party attendees – who also want to substantially reduce government spending, borrowing, and taxes. They want to make government smaller than it is today.
These people look like and sound like the people who campaigned for and won Proposition 13 in California in 1978, Proposition 2 ½ Property Tax Limitation in Massachusetts in 1980, Jesse Ventura for Governor in 1998, and Recalled and Fired Governor Gray Davis in California in 2003. Nor should we forget the millions of volunteers who worked for the 1992 Presidential Campaign of Ross Perot.
Based on the feedback we’re already getting from independents and moderates in Massachusetts – we may have a real chance of WINNING. Of rolling back the sales tax.
Where do we stand? What do we need to do right now?
On August 1st, we filed our ballot initiative law with the Attorney General’s Office. On September 2nd, the Attorney General’s Office legally certified and released our Petition to Roll Back the Sales Tax from 6.25% to 3%.
We then submitted our petition to the Elections Division to get the blank petitions we need to start petitioning. We received them on September 10th. We’re now collecting signatures on those petitions across the state.
To get this on the ballot, we need to collect over 104,000 petition signatures in a very short time frame: the rest of September and October. We need to circulate 351 different petitions — one for each town or city. We need to collect each voter’s signature on the petition for his or her town — or it doesn’t count.
We need to be done by early November so we have time to sort and deliver 104,000 signatures to the 351 different towns by November 18th. They will certify the petitions, and we must then pick them up from these 351 different towns and deliver them to the Secretary of State’s Office by December 2nd, the final deadline. (They don’t make it easy!).
It’s even harder than it sounds. The AFL-CIO failed to get their initiative on the ballot just a few years ago. And a Republican frontrunner for US Senate — who had raised over $1 million — failed with his petition drive in 2008.
But here’s the Good News! Carla Howell has a 100% success record with ballot initiatives and campaign petitions. She will be running the Ballot Initiative petition drive – and she will get the job done….IF YOU support us. We depend on you.
You Are Needed. You Can Make the Difference.
To launch this 104,000 signature petition drive for the Roll Back the Sales Tax Ballot Initiative, to hire professional petitioners and a bare bones staff to run our office. Those who try to get on the ballot with volunteers almost always fail – it’s just too hard in the short time we have. To get the job done, we rely on professionals who understand the complex and demanding requirements of a Massachusetts statewide initiative.
We have some generous supporters who have already donated or pledged to donate. But we still have a long way to go to fund this drive.
Are you the one person reading this letter who can donate $25,000 or $10,000 today? Most of our readers have not yet succeeded on the level you have. Will you please donate $25,000 or $10,000 today — so you and we can roll back the sales tax?
Are you one of the handful of people reading this who can donate $5,000 or $2,500 today? Could you, would you donate this amount today — so we can build on the progress of the TEA Parties and Town Hall Meetings?
Are you one of several dozen people reading this who can contribute $1,500 or $850 or $550? Would you please make your best donation now — so we can roll back taxes?
Maybe you’re like most of us. You have $250 or $150 available on one of your credit cards. Or in the bank. Will you please donate $250 or $150 now to make the difference?
Maybe you’re on a really tight budget. Hundreds of our best supporters are. Almost half of our earlier supporters donated $65 or $85, $25 or $45 when they could.
You can donate by credit card now.
Or please write your check or money order out today and mail it to:
Alliance to Roll Back Taxes
P.O. Box 5268
Your donation is our budget. Please donate generously. Please donate now.
Carla Howell and Michael Cloud
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