Sides forming for Massachusetts sales tax question

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March 31, 2010

BOSTON, Massachusetts: According to reports, this year's general election ballot may include the heated topic of sales tax. The initiative under debate, which is now being reviewed by the Massachusetts Legislature, collected enough signatures by the petition drive deadline in order to be considered for the November 2, 2010 ballot. Ballot status isn't certain yet (Legislature could take action and make it into a law), but sides are already being formed and stances are already being taken on the allegedly biggest issue in 2010 for that state. If enacted, the measure would roll back sales tax from the current 6.25% to 3%.[1][2]

With the gubernatorial election slated for 2010, many Massachusetts residents are wanting to know the stance of political candidates running for a seat. Current Governor Deval Patrick is one of the few candidates who oppose a sales tax cutback. According to Michael Windmer, president of Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, "It’s going to be a hot-button issue."[3]

The Alliance to Rollback Taxes is the group that formed the initiative, and they argue that the passage of the amendment would create 32,929 jobs in the private sector and would compel legislators to eliminate 17,108 government jobs, which would allow for a total gain of 15,821 jobs.[4]

Opponents, such as Representative Steven D'Amico, are arguing that billions of dollars in revenue would be lost if this measure is passed. According to D'Amico:"If the measure passes, we will be looking at catastrophic cuts. This is putting our economic recovery at stake, putting our children's future at stake."[5]

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