Sunday, September 28, 2008

New York Times - Mass Income Tax Repeal

Our very own, State Representative George Peterson from Grafton, was quoted in the New York Times this weekend regarding Question 1 and the push to join 7 other states without an income tax.

At issue is Question 1, which would eliminate the state income tax. It would save the average taxpayer about $3,600 a year. Annual revenue from the tax is about $12.5 billion, roughly 45 percent of the state’s budget of about $28 billion.

Some voters who wanted taxes lowered to 5 percent have decided to support Question 1 to show their anger at the state, said Barbara Anderson, director of Citizens for Limited Taxation, which advocated 5 percent but is now producing bumper stickers that read “Hell Yes! Question 1.”

“It’s the only game in town, it’s the only question on the ballot, it’s the only chance for us to express our outrage,” Ms. Anderson said. “The more we looked at it and realized that other states get along very well without an income tax, like New Hampshire, you start dreaming.”

State Representative George Peterson of Grafton, a Republican who voted for repeal in 2002, declined to say how he would vote this time.

“If we lose $12.5 billion, can I build a responsible budget with that loss in revenue?” Mr. Peterson asked. “No, I can’t.”

But he suggested that if the repeal passed, even though it is technically binding, the Legislature might be forced to find a way around it and pass a new law setting taxes at the 5 percent rate voters asked for eight years ago. “I’m telling my constituents, if you want to send a message that we have a budget that is out of control, send me that message.”