Question 1: Repeal state income tax

Question 1 would reduce the state personal income tax rate to 2.65 percent for the tax year beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2009, and would eliminate the tax beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2010. Below, you'll find videos, opinion articles, an interactive budget calculator, and more resources to help you make an informed decision.

What are my voting options?

A YES vote would eliminate the tax on Jan. 1, 2010.

A NO vote would leave the tax at 5.3 percent.

The context

The same question appeared on the ballot in 2002. Tax supporters dismissed it as outlandish, spending just $4,600 to oppose it, so they were stunned when it won 45 percent of the vote. This time they mounted an aggressive campaign, raising and spending several million dollars to preserve the state's income tax. Meanwhile, Question 1's proponents had raised and spent about one-tenth as much through mid-October and were relying on voter frustration with elected officials, economic constraints, and a general belief in limited government to win passage.
PRO Proponents say the tax, which generates roughly $12.5 billion a year for the state, enables government waste, fattens labor unions and public employee benefits, and robs workers of 5.3 percent of their hard-earned income. They say returning the money instead to the state's 3.4 million workers would help people afford to live in Massachusetts and encourage private business growth.
Notable supporters: Carla Howell, former Libertarian gubernatorial candidate, and her Committee for Small Government; and Barbara Anderson and Citizens for Limited Taxation, who led the effort to pass the property tax control known as Proposition 2 1/2 in 1980.
CONOpponents say eliminating the tax, which funds roughly 40 percent of the state's budget, is a reckless move that could wipe out public schools, safety, and infrastructure. They also caution that it would harm the state's credit rating and ability to borrow money, discourage businesses attracted by its schools and quality of life, and cause other taxes to be raised to make up the difference.
Notable opponents: Coalition for Our Communities, which draws most of its funding from public-employee unions; community-activist groups; state and local business organizations; public officials; and a host of elected bodies, including Boston's City Council.



Play the state budget game

If Question 1 passes in November, the governor and legislature will need to cut nearly 40% of the state's budget. How would you do it?

Your thoughts on Question 1?

Are you in favor of abolishing the state income tax? Do you plan on voting yes or no? Why?

News coverage and talk radio

Question 1 is in the news, and you can watch the latest video and audio clips from and Boston-area broadcasters.

The 2008 ballot questions

Information on the ballot questions from the Massachusetts Secretary of State's office. (PDF)