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Mass. General Election 2010
Pre-election Guide & Results

Ballot Questions

POSTED: Oct 21, 2010
UPDATED: Nov 3, 2010 9:30 pm

Intro & Key


Statewide: Gov, Lt Gov, etc.

Ballot Questions

Governor's Council

Mass. Senate

Mass. House

The following three ballot questions are state-wide:


Question 1: Repeal the sales tax on alcoholic beverages, recently passed by the Legislature.

Our vote: YES:

Results:   YES: 52%   NO: 48%

Last year the Legislature passed a 6.25% sales tax on beer, wine, and liquor. But it's a "double tax" imposed on citizens. And it puts Massachusetts businesses at a disadvantage over businesses across the border in neighboring states. Massachusetts consumers already pay a substantial excise tax on alcoholic beverages, and this tax is on top of that one! It's just another way to pad the state budget. They should either do one tax or the other, but not both.

This is being opposed by special interest groups claiming that the money is needed for alcohol treatment programs. But in fact, as we found with the cigarette taxes, that money rarely goes where it's supposed to. It just goes into the general fund. This wasn't passed to fund treatment of alchoholics. It was passed to get more money for the budget.


Question 2: Repeal the 40B law regarding permits for low-income housing.

Our vote: YES

Results:   NO: 58%   YES: 42%

This terrible law allows speculators to buy up land in any community and easily build subsidized, high-density housing -- without regard to local zoning regulations. It adversely affects the communities, costs taxpayers extra money to support, and the towns have no control over it while the developers make lots of money.  The Massachusetts Inspector General has called this law a "pig fest" that "represents one of the biggest abuses in state history."

The truth is that the biggest impediments to normal low-income housing are the state and local governments -- with their overbearing regulations and oppressive housing laws, and general hostile attitude toward landlords. In other parts of the country the private market creates an ample supply of low-income housing.

Sadly, this is being opposed by a number of misguided religious groups on both the left and the right, as well as the usual left-wing special interests.


Question 3: Reduce the sales tax to 3%

Our vote: YES

Results:   NO: 57%   YES: 438%

Recently the Legislature RAISED the sales tax from 5% to 6.25%. Anyone who actually reads the huge annual Massachusetts state budget would be outraged at the enormous special-interest pork, pet projects, special-interest programs, pensions (sometimes at early retirement ages), union demands, and general waste of hard-earned taxpayer money.  We're not exaggerating. One tiny example: This month the Boston Herald reports that the state pays $6.4 million hiring less than 100 people for "PR services" for government agencies. Overall, the state budget grows each year faster than inflation (often double the rate of inflation).

The usual pro-tax groups and labor unions are claiming that "essential services" would be immediately cut if this were to pass and that cities and towns would not get their state aid. The truth is that the Legislature has never been forced to say "no" to the special interests. It's about time they started.

It's been estimated that approximately 30,000 jobs would be created in the private sector (mostly in small businesses) if the measure passes.

Recently a business group headed by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce announced it was opposing this tax rollback. However, news reports also reveal that it's a group of big businesses that use state-funded services. "It goes too far. It's extreme," they say.  That's always the mantra: Every time taxes are raised, it's to cover needs, but every tax rollback "goes too far."