The Eisenthal Report urges a "no" vote on Question 1, which will appear on ballots statewide in Massachusetts on November 4.
Question 1 would eliminate the state income tax. The effect of this measure would be highly disruptive, at best, and conceivably catastrophic for this state. The state budget of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts gets about 40 percent of its funding - about $12 billion - from the income tax.
The best case scenario if Question 1 passes is that the legislature and Governor will move quickly to gut or eliminate the new aw. Even in this case, it is likely that state and local services will see disruptions as agency managers plan and act based on the anticipation of much reduced revenues.
More likely is that the law would survive in some form, requiring a drastic combination of service reductions and revenue increase from other sources.
The effects could be dramatic on public education, public safety, infrastructure, and the full array of local services. Massachusetts municipalities had budgeted revenues of nearly $21 billion in fiscal 2008. $5 billion of that amount was state aid. A forty percent reduction of state aid would thus likely translate into a 10 percent reduction in overall local revenues - a recipe for disruptions and reductions in services.
The group, Vote No on Question 1, is actively educating voters about the dangers posed by this question. I urge my readers to get involved.
Note: The Boston Globe today published an editorial urging the defeat of Question 1.