Massachusetts Toll and Motor Vehicle Tax Credit Initiative, Question 6 (2000)
The initiative proposed a law that would create a state personal income tax or corporate excise tax credit for Massachusetts tolls and motor vehicle excise taxes.
|Question 6 (Toll and Motor Vehicle Tax Credit)|
Official results via: The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth
The proposed law would allow a state personal income taxpayer a tax credit equal to the amount of tolls the taxpayer paid during the taxable year on all Massachusetts roads, highways, tunnels, and bridges, including the Massachusetts Turnpike and its Boston Extension, the Tobin Bridge, and the Sumner, Callahan, and Ted Williams Tunnels. Also, a corporation would be allowed a tax credit against its corporate excise taxes in an amount equal to all such tolls paid during the taxable year by the corporation or by its employees in furtherance of the corporation's business.
The proposed law would also allow a state personal income taxpayer a tax credit equal to the amount of excise taxes on registered motor vehicles the taxpayer paid during the taxable year. A corporation would be allowed a credit against its corporate excise taxes in an amount equal to all registered motor vehicle excise taxes the corporation paid during the taxable year.
The proposed law stated that if any of its parts was declared invalid, its remaining parts would stay in effect.
The initiative was supported by the Free the Pike Coalition. They argued that:
- The excise tax is essentially a tax for Massachusetts citizens to park their car in their own driveway.
- Tobin Bridge and harbor tunnels were paid off long ago, and the Massachusetts Turnpike has been paid for six times over.
- Tolls are inefficient and lead to powerful, wasteful bureaucracies. The Turnpike Authority spends as much to operate one road as the highway department does to operate the entire state highway system.
- The proposed law's impact on state finances would be negligible.
The initiative was opposed by the Campaign for Massachusetts' Future. They argued that the proposed law did not eliminate tolls in Massachusetts, but instead creates a "cumbersome, bureaucratic procedure that will make filing taxes more complicated than ever and increase the delays and frustrations of driving in Massachusetts." They also argued that lost revenue from tolls would result in a "missed opportunity to invest in a strong future for Massachusetts' families."
The majority of the Joint Committee on Taxation also opposed the measure, arguing that the proposed tax credits shift the burden of paying for the Turnpike from highway users to all state taxpayers. They also argued that the revenue loss would "jeopardize the health and safety of many citizens" due to spending costs in the areas of education, health care and road and bridge repairs. They also argued that, while the cumulative loss in revenue was significant, the average individual would only see "a few dollars" off their tax bill.
- List of Massachusetts ballot measures
- Procedures for qualifying an initiative in Massachusetts
- Campaign finance requirements for Massachusetts ballot measures
- 2000 ballot measures
- Massachusetts 2000 ballot measures
- Petition drive deadlines in 2008
- Massachusetts signature requirements
- Information for Voters: The 2000 Ballot Questions p.12-13
- Elections: Massachusetts 2000 Statewide Ballot Measures (PDF) Secretary of State record