Taxpayer Advocates Celebrate $3B Tax Credit Win for Massachusetts Citizens, But They Caution that Vested Property Right Cannot be Undone

BOSTON – The taxpayer advocates who championed the Massachusetts tax credit rebate law, and their lawyers, today celebrated the state Auditor’s certification of nearly $3 billion of tax credits that are slated for reimbursement to taxpayers under the terms of a 1986 citizen initiative law.

“That our tax cap has been dormant for over three decades until today shows that it is working exactly as it was designed to do,” said Chip Ford, executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation.  “Our tax cap was intended as an automatic release valve for when revenue surpluses reach an unnecessary level, especially such an extraordinary level as recently; it was meant as a check on unlimited taxation and unsustainable spending. … It’s unfortunate that our late-executive director Barbara Anderson, who worked so hard for adoption of our 1986 ballot question (and so many other tax reforms) is no longer with us to celebrate this success she achieved for all taxpayers of Massachusetts,” Ford added, “but I’m confident she’s up there joining us joyfully in spirit.”

“This is a tremendous victory for all taxpayers of the Commonwealth. We were fully prepared to bring the Auditor to the Supreme Judicial Court to enforce this certification and are even more thrilled that they’ve made this certification ahead of the September 20 deadline,” stated Paul D. Craney, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.

The taxpayer groups had lined up legal firepower to ensure compliance with the law by engaging Arizona-based Goldwater Institute, a national individual rights litigation powerhouse, along with Boston-based New England Legal Foundation which advocates free enterprise, property rights and limited government in the New England state and federal courts.

“It is great to see this law work as it was designed to by delivering much needed tax relief to hardworking Massachusetts taxpayers,” said Jon Riches, Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute.

“We applaud this next step in complying with the tax credit law,” said NELF President Dan Winslow, “but will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that any property rights that have now vested for each taxpayer will be respected as the state Constitution requires.”  Winslow’s co-counsel for the project is NELF Senior Staff Attorney Ben Robbins.


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