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Massachusetts Toll and Motor Vehicle Tax Credit Initiative, Question 6 (2000)

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The Massachusetts Toll and Motor Vehicle Tax Credit Initiative, also known as Question 6, was on the November 7, 2000 election ballot in Massachusetts as an initiated state statute. It was defeated.

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.

Election results

Question 6 (Toll and Motor Vehicle Tax Credit)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No1,477,73154.05%
Yes 1,090,449 39.89%

Official results via: The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth

Text of measure

Ballot question

The question on the ballot was:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

Do you approve of a law summarized below, on which no vote was taken by the Senate or the House of Representatives before May 3, 2000?[1]

Summary

The official ballot summary for Question 6 was:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

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.[1]

Full text

The full text of the legislation proposed by Question 6 is available here.


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Support

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.

Opposition

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.

See also

External links

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References


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