Media Coverage and Analysis
Despite the clear defeat of the repeal of the state income tax, the analysis by media and public officials is muddled:
The fact is that Question 1 threatened the state’s ability to provide basic services, including local aid. The prospect of trading the income tax for a huge boost in the property tax was – not surprisingly – less than appealing for the state’s voters.
That fact and the united front presented by business and labor helped good sense prevail
[Common Sense on Taxes by Boston Herald Editorial Staff]
In recent months, Question 1 was an elephant in the room at the State House, discouraging talk of increasing taxes or fees for fear of fueling antitax sentiment, political observers said. Meanwhile, Patrick and lawmakers have spent the last few weeks trying to close an estimated $1.4 billion deficit in the current fiscal year – through a mix of cuts, financial transfers, and other measures – and will soon dig into the fiscal 2010 budget as well.
“The results of Question 1 sent a loud and clear message to us that, number one, there is economic anxiety and frustration out there,” said Senator Steven C. Panagiotakos, chairman of the Senate’s Ways and Means Committee. “I see it as a mandate to live within our means.” [Hearing message from voters, lawmakers spurn talk of a tax hike by Eric Moskowitz, Boston Globe]