Summary

This proposed law would reduce the state sales and use tax rates from 6.25% to 3% on Jan. 1. If the 3% rates would not produce enough revenues to satisfy any lawful pledge in connection with any bond, note, or other contractual obligation, then the rates would instead be reduced to the lowest level allowed by law. If any part of the law were declared invalid, the other parts would stay in effect.

Latest news

Voter initiatives target two taxes (Boston Globe, 10/26/10)


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Arguments

Yes - Cut sales and use taxes to 3%


(Authored by Carla Howell, Alliance to Roll Back Taxes, Wayland. www.RollBackTaxes.com)

Last year, the state Legislature and Gov. Deval Patrick raised the sales tax to 6.25%.

Thousands of people lost their jobs.

Your YES vote rolls back the sales tax to 3% and:

· Creates 32,929 productive, sustainable jobs

· Gives back an average of $688 - every year - to each taxpayer

· Saves northern Massachusetts retail businesses and jobs by keeping shoppers here - instead of driving them to New Hampshire's 0% sales tax

· Attracts shoppers from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, and New York.

It safely trims fat: 5% from $52 billion in total state government spending. It does NOT reduce spending for cities and towns, police, firefighters, schools, roads - NOR any essential service. Not a dime.

Vote YES to reduce:

· Government waste

· Bureaucracy

· Sweetheart deals for rich corporations

· Union-inflated plush pensions that give government employees full retirement pay as early as age 54.

Vote YES for fiscal responsibility and desperately needed JOBS.

These arguments, from the secretary of state's election website, were written by proponents and opponents of each question and reflect their opinions.

Boston.com, The Boston Globe, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts do not endorse these arguments, and do not certify the truth or accuracy of any statement made in these arguments.

The names of the individuals and organizations who wrote each argument, and any written comments by others about each argument, are on file in the secretary of state's office.

No - Keep sales and use taxes at 6.25%


(Authored by Joanne Blum, MA Coalition for Our Communities, Boston. www.votenoquestion3.com)

The sales tax helps pay for things we all value and rely on.

We all want good schools, police and fire protection, safe roads and bridges, clean water, and quality health care. Cutting the sales tax by more than half will prevent us from achieving these goals we share.

Our communities rely on local aid to pay for schools, public safety, and emergency services. Local aid has already been cut by 25 percent in the last two years, forcing communities to reduce services. This proposal would result in further cutbacks.

This proposal would take away $2.5 billion in state revenue. This is about half the total amount the state sends to our communities each year to help pay for public education.

The recession has forced communities to reduce services. We cannot keep cutting without doing lasting harm to our schools, health care, and the services that strengthen our communities.

These arguments, from the secretary of state's election website, were written by proponents and opponents of each question and reflect their opinions.

Boston.com, The Boston Globe, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts do not endorse these arguments, and do not certify the truth or accuracy of any statement made in these arguments.

The names of the individuals and organizations who wrote each argument, and any written comments by others about each argument, are on file in the secretary of state's office.

Featured

Voter initiatives target two taxes

With jobs scarce and many families just scraping by, taxes have taken center stage this political season. In Tuesday’s election, Massachusetts voters will have two opportunities to lower them. (By Peter Schworm, 10/26/10)

Patrick opens narrow lead, poll suggests

Governor Deval Patrick has opened a slim lead over Republican rival Charles D. Baker as the heated four-way governor’s race enters its final days, but a strong anti-incumbent mood, discouragement within Democratic ranks, and excitement among Republicans still threatens his bid for a second term, according to a new Boston Globe poll. (By Frank Phillips, 10/24/10)

Question stirs hope for some extra cash

Kayliegh Souza says she is needier than the government. “It would be nice to have a little extra money to pay for things for him,’’ she said, motioning to her 13-month-old son in a baby carriage during an interview on Pleasant Street. (10/23/10)

Malden would feel pinch if state sales tax takes a cut

This small city north of Boston has, as one official put it, “emptied every cookie jar we have.’’ (By Sean P. Murphy, 10/23/10)

Business group fights tax rollback

A group of business leaders across Massachusetts is joining forces to fight an unlikely enemy: a tax rollback. (By Jenn Abelson, 10/19/10)

Merrimack Valley residents, officials debate Question 3’s call to cut sales tax

Christine Morabito is supporting the November ballot question to reduce the state’s sales tax because she thinks it is time for Beacon Hill to make do with less. (By John Laidler, 10/16/10)

Connaughton backs off opposition to ballot question

Republican auditor candidate Mary Z. Connaughton, in a televised debate last night, appeared to back off her earlier opposition to a controversial ballot initiative that would slash the state’s sales tax, saying she was undecided about the measure. (By Alan Wirzbicki, 9/28/10)

In poll, edge goes to sales tax cut

Massachusetts voters are deeply split over a November ballot question that would slash the state sales tax, a new Globe poll indicates, with a narrow plurality of those surveyed saying they favor the proposal. (By Alan Wirzbicki, 9/26/10)

Unions raise $1.3m to fight ballot drive to cut sales tax

Determined not to be caught off-guard in a volatile election year, labor unions are pouring money into an effort to fight a deep cut in the state sales tax, campaign finance reports show. (By Alan Wirzbicki, 9/20/10)

Patrick won’t commit to sales tax rollback

Governor Deval Patrick declined to say yesterday whether he would implement a tax rollback if the voters mandate it in November, pitting him against all three of his campaign rivals, who say they would abide by the referendum. (By Jim O’Sullivan and Kyle Cheney, 9/2/10)

Sales tax foes upbeat on prospects

Antitax crusaders yesterday triumphantly turned in what they called a “challenge proof’’ number of voter signatures in their attempt to put on the November ballot a measure halving the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax. (By Noah Bierman, 7/7/10)

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