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Massachusetts initiatives

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I'm undecided or not completely decided on some ballot questions this year.

Proposition 1 would repeal the sales tax on alcoholic beverages. Apparently before the recent increase to 6.25%, alcohol was not subject to the sales tax; it was and continues to be subject to a separate excise tax. The argument is that this is double taxation on alcoholic beverages.

I'm not opposed to what amounts to a higher tax rate on alcohol, and I certainly don't think it's worth a petition. What gives me pause, though, is that evidently the tax is earmarked for a special interest - in this case behavioral healthcare. I am opposed to earmarks; while I'd support the tax and oppose the initiative wholeheartedly if the money went into general funds, I have a problem with it if it's earmarked.

I'm not completely decided on proposition 3, either, which rolls back the 6.25% sales tax not to the previous 5.25%, but to 3%. While I think 6% is too high, I think 3% is definitely too low, and I'm inclined to vote against and let the new administration figure things out. However, I'm not completely decided on this.

Thoughts on either of these?
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On September 22nd, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC), mjperson commented:
I'm undecided about Number 1. I'm not really sure what a "special interest" is anymore, as opposed to anything else, but yeah, that earmark is my main reason for not being happy with current situation. I admit though, even given that part I'd probably vote against it, but there's certainly doubt. I'm definitely voting against prop 3.

I'm probably opposed to number 2 as well, since it seems to me the current law reduces paperwork and streamlines things for developers, but that's just because I've not really heard a coherent argument for or against it.
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On September 22nd, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC), psychohist replied:
I'm in favor of proposition 2.

What the current law does is, essentially, allow the state to impose certain developments on local communities against the will of those communities, by ignoring requirements on permitting, zoning, and maybe public hearings. Having lived in a community that I like for 20 years, I'd prefer that communities retain some control over these issues.

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