LETTER: Let Voters Decide On Graduated Tax

The following is a letter to the editor from Paul Cully. Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views of WestfordCAT or its Board of Directors. To submit your own content, e-mail [email protected]

This is in response to Ms. Wormell’s letter to the WestfordCAT News Online issue of 05/18/2016.

While it may be true that a graduated income tax (higher income households pay taxes at a higher rate) have never resulted (in Massachusetts) in the additional funds being channeled to the projects (like road repairs and education) for which they were touted, it doesn’t mean that the matter shouldn’t be on the ballot for voters to choose, one way or the other.  There are examples of taxes, raised for specific projects, successfully being used for the stated purposes.  It is not “a given”, that this proposed tax would end up being used for something other than the intended purposes, as her letter suggests. 

Isn’t it the nature of democracy to let the voters decide, not just those with a vested interest?  Isn’t that exactly what one of the major issues in this year’s campaign season is?  Having this appear on the 2018 ballot would facilitate that a broad cross-section of voters could weigh in on this question.  The relevance to Massachusetts of the response to such a tax by voters in Maryland is questionable.  Even if it were relevant, so what if those who oppose it move to New Hampshire – maybe that would be an improvement.  Ms. Wormell’s letter registers her complaint, but fails to offer an alternative for raising funds for education and infrastructure repairs, and advocates for not allowing democracy to function.