2010 Ballot Initiative to Roll Back the Massachusetts Sales Tax from 6.25% to 3%

The Roll Back Taxes ballot measure (“Question 3”) was a 2010 citizen initiative in Massachusetts (U.S.A.) to roll back the state sales tax. It was the boldest and most serious threat to high taxes anywhere in America in 2010.

If Roll Back Taxes had passed, it would have:

  • created over 27,000 NEW Private Sector JOBS!
  • given back an average of $688 – every year – to each taxpayer. An average of over $900 per family. Every year.
  • forced state politicians to cut government waste.
  • kept shoppers in Massachusetts– instead of driving them to New Hampshire’s 0% sales tax.
  • attracted international shoppers as well as those from bordering states: Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont and New York. Another boost for Massachusetts Retailers and shoppers.

So close…

Question 3 was ahead in the polls (54%) in August of 2010. But the grassroots campaign had just a tiny ad budget, while the opposition saturated the airwaves with ominous TV, radio, and Internet ads warning of “decimation” if the tax cut passed. They also teamed with Democratic incumbents to conduct a massive get-out-the-vote campaign against the initiative, driving those who were unsure to vote No.

Despite a $4.5 million campaign by the Teachers Union to defeat it, and despite Massachusetts being among the biggest of Big Government states, nearly one million voters (43% of the vote) said Yes to cutting the state sales tax in half.

Four Massachusetts legislators were elected in 2010 (three newly elected, one incumbent) who pledged their support of rolling back the sales tax to 3%:

  • Representatives Dan Webster (6th Plymouth)
  • Ryan Fattman (18th Worcester)
  • Steven Levy (4th Middlesex)
  • Geoff Diehl (7th Plymouth)

Question 3 changed the conversation from more Big Government to less

Question 3 was the most talked-about issue in the 2010 Massachusetts election. It was the lead issue discussed in gubernatorial debates and a frequent topic on talk radio. Voters across the state discussed the possibility of cutting the sales tax with their friends, neighbors, family, and co-workers.

The 2010 election in Massachusetts was a rare opportunity for taxpayers to seriously challenge the Big Government status quo. It would have taken $2.34 billion out of the coffers of Big Government and returned that money to the taxpayers who earned it – every year.

Learn more about Question 3:

Frequently asked questions
Where to cut spending
About the Alliance to Roll Back Taxes

For more bold, small government ideas and proposals, visit the web site of the initiative’s sponsors: the Center For Small Government.

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One Response to “2010 Ballot Initiative to Roll Back the Massachusetts Sales Tax from 6.25% to 3%”

  1. Erik says:

    Unfortunately this state is nearing disarray because of its government and its willingness to over spend budgets. Massachusetts acts and spends without consequences like an uninformed teenager (or adult) with credit access and limited resources to fully pay its debt in a timely manner.

    As a side note, please do not also forget the $$$ Billions of Dollars this state receives from our Country’s Government which has to be 100% spent each year (so we can line up for even more next year). Not only are we wasting our own taxpayer dollars (twice) but we’re also helping to drive our nation further into debt because Massachusetts cannot manage the 2006 #9 wealthiest tax revenue per capita budget in the nation. We need to take a page or two out of our neighbor to the north on how-to-run-a-state textbook. New Hampshire is ranked 48th – they have SMALL government, excellent roadways, state resources and even if they amassed some debt, they could raise taxes and still be ranked in the 40’s.

    Massachusetts is our state and we should take it back from the current government and stop creating more wasteful state jobs, eliminate pensions (like the rest of the business world) and build a state that can begin to prosper without the Beacon Hill anchor weighing it down.

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