- Carla Howell
Carla A. Howell (born 1955) is an American
politicianand small government advocate. She is President of the Center for Small Government. She is most known for organizing initiative petitions, called ballot measuresin other states, to repeal the Massachusetts state personal income tax, and for unsuccessfully running for various political offices on the Libertarian Party ticket.
She earned her MBA from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts in 1986 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Bethany College in Math/Computer Science (1976). She worked at Westinghouse Electric, Computervision Corporation, and Analog Devices, and consulted for numerous small and medium-sized businesses in Massachusetts. [ [http://www.carlahowell.org/about.html "Carla Howell" "about page"] ]
Carla Howell is a great-granddaughter of the Honorable
William Eustis Russell, a former Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusettsand a granddaughter of 1950s Boston socialiteMargaret Russell Howell.
Initiative Petitions to Repeal the Massachusetts State Personal Income Tax
At the time of the 2002 and 2008 initiatives Massachusetts had an income tax rate of 5.3% on most sources of income. [ [http://www.bankrate.com/brm/itax/edit/state/profiles/state_tax_Mass.asp "Bankrate" "current list of state income taxes"] ] The personal income tax provided about 45% of Massachusetts' revenue at the time of the initiatives.
2002 Statewide Ballot Question 1 [ [http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/ele02/elebq02/bq021.htm "Massachusetts Secretary of state" "2002 Ballot Question 1"] ] : In 2002, she sponsored an initiative petition to end the
income taxin Massachusetts. [ [http://thirdpartywatch.com/2007/11/20/ending-the-income-tax-in-taxachusetts/ "Third Party Watch" "Ending the Mass income taxes"] ]
2008 Statewide Ballot Question 1 [ [http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepip08/pip081.htm "Mass Secretary of State" "2008 Ballot Question 1"] ] : In 2007, she, along with fellow co-chair
Michael Cloud, re-formed the Committee For Small Government(the group behind the 2002 effort to end the income tax). The Committee obtained enough petition signatures to put the issue on the ballot [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/28/us/28ballot.html?bl&ex=1222747200&en=486a776f9f184e9c&ei=5087%0A "New York Times" "Massachusetts Proposal Would Repeal Income Tax"] ] . The 2008 initiative differs from the 2002 initiative in that it provides a one year transition period with a tax rate of 2.65% before the tax rate would drop to zero. The initiative is opposed by an organization called 'Coalition for Our Communities', which is almost exclusively funded by Unions. Supporters of the initiative are mostly individuals and have considerably fewer resources available to them. [ [http://www.wickedlocal.com/belmont/news/x997994389/Tax-repeal-resistance-flush-for-final-two-months "Wicked Local" "Tax repeal resistance flush for final two months"] ]
She was the
MassachusettsLibertarian Party candidate in the race for U.S. Senate in 2000, which was won by Democrat Ted Kennedy. Howell received 11.9% of the vote (a total of 308,860 votes), only 1% behind the Republican, making Howell's the most successful third party Senate race in America in 2000, according to "Campaigns and Elections" magazine. [ [http://www.realcampaignreform.org/howell_dec.htm "Real Campaign Reform" "DECLARATION OF CARLA HOWELL"] ]
She ran for
State Auditorin 1998 and was endorsed by the Boston Herald. Howell lost finishing with 102,198 votes for 5.71% of the total vote. She ran in the 2002 Massachusetts gubernatorial election finishing 4th with 23,044 votes for 1.05% of the total vote.
The most common criticism of Ms Howell's proposals is that they are impractical, that the state of Massachusetts has to maintain a state government somehow, and the personal income tax is the fairest way to finance the government. Ms Howell claims that the state budget could be balanced by eliminating waste and from the many benefits to the economy that personal income tax repeal would create. [ [http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/09/21/repeal_eliminates_waste_lines_our_pockets/ "Carla Howell - letter to the editor" "Repeal eliminates waste and lines our pockets"] ] If local governments can no longer get personal income tax money from the state they will likely have to raise property taxes to make up the difference, but property tax increases are limited by
proposition 2½. [ [http://www.thefreelibrary.com/If+2-1%2F2+was+a+storm,+repeal+of+income+tax+would+be+a+tsunami.-a0185706434 "The Free Library" "If Question 2 was a storm, the repeal of the income tax would be a tsunami"] ] As of August 15, 2008, Ms Howell and Mr Cloud have paid themselves almost $200,000 from committee donations for "consulting fees" over the last 6 years for services rendered to the their own campaigns. [ [http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/politics/view/2008_08_15_Carla_Howell_s_tax_fight_pays_off/srvc=home&position=0 "Boston Herald" "Carla Howells tax fight pays off for Her and activist pal"] ] [ [http://www.efs.cpf.state.ma.us/SearchReportResults.aspx?cpfId=95338 "commitee for small government - campaign finance report - 2008 ballot question 1"] ] [ [http://www.efs.cpf.state.ma.us/SearchReportResults.aspx?cpfId=95298 "The commitee for small government - campaign finance report- 2002 ballot question 1"] ]
Massachusetts State Income Tax Repeal Initiative, 2008 Ballot Question 1
Proposition 2½, A voter imposed cap on the rate of increase of property taxes in Massachusetts.
Tax revolt, political struggle to repeal, limit, or roll back a government-imposed tax.
* [http://www.carlahowell.org/ Carla Howell official web site]
** [http://www.smallgovernmentact.org/ Committee For Small Government ballot initiative website]
** [http://www.centerforsmallgovernment.com/ The Center for Small Government]
** [http://www.lp.org/ US Libertarian Party web site]
** [http://ww.freetalklive.com/files/howell.mp3 Downloadable audio interview] with
Free Talk Live
** [http://votenoquestion1.com/ Vote No on Quesiton 1]
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