Massachusetts Ballot Questions

The following information is taken directly from The League of Women Voters website:

Ballot Question 1

“A PROPOSED LAW TO ELIMINATE THE STATE INCOME TAX”

This proposed law would eliminate the state personal income tax for all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2009.  The personal income tax applies to income received or gain realized by individuals and married couples, by estates of deceased persons, by certain trustees and other fiduciaries, by persons who are partners in and receive income from partnerships, by corporate trusts, and by persons who receive income as shareholders of “S corporations” as defined under federal tax law.  The proposed law would not affect the tax due on income or gain realized in a tax year beginning before January 1, 2009.  The proposed law states that if any of its parts were declared invalid, the other parts would stay in effect.

Supported by Committee for Small Government at http://www.smallgovernmentact.org

Opposed by June Michaels, Fiscal Policy Specialist, Coalition to Fight Income Tax Initiative. 
        
978-546-3863, macluj@comcast.net 

 

Ballot Question 2

“AN ACT ESTABLISHING A SENSIBLE STATE MARIJUANA POLICY”

Summary: This proposed law would replace the criminal penalties for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana with a new system of civil penalties, to be enforced by issuing citations, and would exclude information regarding this civil offense from the state’s criminal record information system.  Offenders age 18 or older would be subject to forfeiture of the marijuana plus a civil penalty of $100.  Offenders under the age of 18 would be subject to the same forfeiture and, if they complete a drug awareness program within one year of the offense, the same $100 penalty.

For further information see:

http://norml.org/

http://www.idebate.org/debatabase/topic_index.php?page=4

http://www.darema.org/

http://sensiblemarijuanapolicy.org/

 

Ballot Question 3

“AN INITIATIVE FOR AN ACT TO PROTECT GREYHOUNDS”

Summary:

This proposed law would prohibit any dog racing or racing meeting in Massachusetts where any form of betting or wagering on the speed or ability of dogs occurs.  The State Racing Commission would be prohibited from accepting or approving any application or request for racing dates for dog racing.  Any person violating the proposed law could be required to pay a civil penalty of not less than $20,000 to the Commission.  The penalty would be used for the Commission’s administrative purposes, subject to appropriation by the state Legislature.  All existing parts of the chapter of the state’s General Laws concerning dog and horse racing meetings would be interpreted as if they did not refer to dogs.

For further information:

·       http://www.grey2kusa.org/
·      
http://www.protectdogs.org/

·      
http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x875593895/Keeping-the-fight-vs-dog-racing-on-track
·      
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/01/13/race_to_the_ballot/?page=2

Please see the League of Women Voters website for further information.

There are good reasons for votes on both sides of all of these questions.  Please consider the issues carefully before you vote.