Massachusetts Income Tax Rate Cut Initiative, Question 3 (1998)

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The Massachusetts State Legislators Compensation Amendment, also known as Question 1, was on the November 3, 1998 ballot in Massachusetts as an initiated state statute. It was approved.

Election results

Question 3 (Income Tax Rate Cut)
Approveda Yes 1,395,599 72.1%

Official results via: The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth

Text of measure

Ballot language

The language that appeared on the ballot:

A YES VOTE would reduce the state tax rate for interest and dividend income.

A NO VOTE would make no change in the current state tax rate for interest and dividend income.

This proposed law would change the state income tax rate on interest and dividend income, which was 12% as of September 1997, to whatever rate applies to Part B taxable income (such as wages and salaries), which was 5.95% as of September 1997. The change would take effect starting in tax year 2000.[1][2]

Full text


SECTION 1. The purpose of this law is to encourage personal savings in the Commonwealth. The personal income tax rate on earnings from savings, whatever its form, shall be no higher than the lowest statutory rate charged on income from wages and salaries.

SECTION 2. Subsection (a) of Section 4 of Chapter 62 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1996 Official Edition, shall be amended by adding the following at the end thereof: "provided, however that any interest and dividend income subject to this paragraph shall be taxed at the same rate as provided for in subsection (b) of this section."

SECTION 3. The provisions of this act shall apply to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2000.[1][2]


Supporters argued:

  • The initiative would end "the 12% tax, the highest tax rate on personal income in the nation."
  • The initiative would "relieve an unfair tax burden on people struggling to save."
  • The initiative had the support of a wide range of groups, including the Taxpayers Foundation, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, The Boston Globe, and the Boston Herald.[1]

The majority of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means supported the initiative.[1]


Opponents argued:

  • The initiative would benefit the wealth over the average person, specifically that "half the benefits would go to the richest five percent of taxpayers, and over a third would go to the richest one percent."
  • The supporters studied even showed that incomes would fall, unfairly harming working families.
  • "Investors already pay much lower taxes on capital gains than workers do on their wages."[1]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth (via
  2. 2.0 2.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.