A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 11, 2016
Massachusetts: Taxachusetts (nickname)

Massachusetts has a long reputation as a high tax state, although several studies over many years have shown that it’s far from the highest tax state. The state nickname of “Taxachusetts” (tax + Massachusetts) has been cited in print since at least November 1951.

“Taxachusetts, the Pay State”—a pun on the Bay State nickname—was cited in 1954.


8 November 1951, Boston (MA) Traveler, “People’s Forum,” pg. 16, col. 6:
TAXACHUSETTS FOUND UNLIKE CALIFORNIA
Poeple’s Editor:
I just returned from a three months’ visit with my son who now lives in southern California. Now that I am back in Taxachusetts I wonder why our state is so different from other states.
(...)
NOW A REPUBLICAN
Boston.

14 November 1951, Boston (MA) Traveler, “People’s Forum,” pg. 34, col. 6:
SONG INDICTED TO TAXACHUSETTS
People’s Editor:
I am sending you the latest song “Long Live the State of Taxes.” Here are the lyrics—Massachusetts, there she stands, Long on taxes, factories moving to southern lands, unemployment, idle hands, Taxachusetts, there she stands.
(...)
M. T. CANN (Formerly Philip McCann)
Revere.

30 December 1951, Boston (MA) Sunday Globe, “What People Talk About,” pg. 6-A, col. 5:
Taxachusetts is getting to be the dirtiest state among the 48.
(...)
D. M. L.
Weymouth.

23 June 1952, Fitchburg (MA) Sentinel, editorial, pg. 6, col. 1:
Poor Old “Taxachusetts!”
Down around Boston, where ears are more closely attuned to the alarming spending orgy that is marking, or smearing. the state administration they are calling the Commonwealth by a new name. It’s “Taxachusetts.” And how it fits!

18 February 1953, Lowell (MA) Sun, “New Hampshire to Toast Long,” pg. 24, col. 1:
LOWELL—Coming down out of his stomping grounds upstate, Dave Heald, tub-thumping on the subject, “This Is New Hampshire,” let members of the Lowell Lions club in on the big reception planned for Henry Long of “Taxachusetts” during the month of April at yesterday’s downtown weekly luncheon.

8 February 1954, Concord (MA) Enterprise, “Town Talk,” pg. 12, col. 4:
Say. we’ve seen all kinds of signs on number plates such as “Historic Concord” and “Hi-Néighbor” but the latest is a beaut—it reads “Taxachusetts—the Pay Slate.”

20 June 1952, Boston (MA) Evening American, pg. 52, col. 2:
IN THE MAILBAG
Our ‘Taxachusetts’
(...)
These are two good reasons why so many people are moving out of “TAXACHUSETTS, THE PAY STATE.”
M. D. M.

29 November 1961, Record American (Boston, MA), pg. 20, col. 2:
IN THE MAILBAG
Taxachusetts Needs Relief for Homeowner

20 March 1969, Springfield (MA) Union, pg. 1, col. 1:
‘Taxachusetts?’ State Experts Says It’s Not So
By RUSSELL M. KEITH
BOSTON—There is no justification for calling this state “Taxachusetts,” says special tax commission expert Robert. H. ‘Tex’ McClain. Wednesday he presented to a group of legislators facts and figures which, he says, prove it.

30 December 1972, Boston (MA) Herald Traveler and Record American, editorial, pg. 16, col. 1:
Tantrums, Taxachusetts and Trees

Google News Archive
30 June 1981, The Bulletin (Bend, OR), pg. C-6, col. 1:
Deep tax cuts due in Massachusetts
BOSTON (UPI)—Massachusetts officially sheds its “Taxachusetts” nickname Wednesday with a drastic property tax-cutting law that will slash local government spending by $500 million and force layoffs of police, firemen and thousands of other public employees.

Google Books
Tax Crusaders and the Politics of Direct Democracy
By Daniel A. Smith
New York, NY: Routledge
1998
Pg. 96:
During the 1970s, Massachusetts was tagged with the disparaging label, “Taxachusetts.” The moniker was not without credence, but it had as much to do with the uneven dependency on property taxes as with the overall tax burden.

OCLC WorldCat record
Massachusetts: It may be the home of the Boston Tea Party, but it’s the same old Taxachusetts to corporate tax directors
Publisher: [Boston, MA : CFO Pub. Corp., c1985-
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: CFO : the magazine for chief financial officers. 14, no. 6, (1998): 40
Database: ArticleFirst

OCLC WorldCat record
Holding Taxachusetts at bay
Author: David G Tuerck; Jonathan Haughton; Tija Kurian; Beacon Hill Institute.
Publisher: Boston, Mass. : Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, [2002?]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

Google Books
New Rules:
Polite Musings from a Timid Observer

By Bill Maher
[Emmaus, PA: Rodale
2005
Pg. 130:
Mass. Hysteria.
NEW RULE
Stop calling Massachusetts “Taxachusetts.” It wasn’t funny the first billion times. Thirty-five states have a higher tax burden than Massachusetts does. People in Montana pay more in taxes, so from now on, I’m calling Montana “Taxatana.”

Urban Dictionary
Taxachusetts
A joking or insulting term for Massachusetts.
Derived from tax + Massachusetts.
Specifically alluding to the (possibly correct) idea that state income tax in Massachusetts is significantly higher than the national average.
Seems like every month a fifth of my paycheck goes to government here in Taxachusetts. And come April 15th they’ll still want more.
by Peter K. April 11, 2005

OCLC WorldCat record
Taxachusetts: MA Dem can’t Remember Opposing a Tax Hike
Author: United Liberty; Jason Pye
Edition/Format: Downloadable article Downloadable article : English
Publication: United Liberty, (2013-05-30T20:06:28.000Z)
Database: ACI Scholarly Blog Index
Summary:
Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), who has served in Congress for 27 years and is a candidate in the special election for the Senate in Massachusetts, cannot recall a time when he’s opposed a tax increase.During a recent campaign stop, he was asked if there was an instance he’s opposed Democratic leadership on taxes. Markey sheepishly replied, “Well, I would review my record and I will get back to you on that.”Unbelievable.Markey leads his Republican opponent, Gabriel Gomez, by an average of 10..

Boston (MA) Globe
‘Taxachusetts’ is a misnomer, at least for now
By Tom Keane GLOBE COLUMNIST MARCH 28, 2014
MASSACHUSETTS IS not, in fact, “Taxachusetts.” Rather, the Bay State is right in the middle, neither high nor low, imposing less of a burden on its citizens than certain other states filled with anti-tax braggadocio (ahem, that would be you, New Hampshire). But “Taxachusetts” is also less about reality than it is a state of mind. We may not tax heavily now, but we used to — and if certain folks had their druthers, we would once again.

Boston (MA) Globe
‘Taxachusetts’ is a lie. Here’s why.
By Evan Horowitz GLOBE STAFF NOVEMBER 04, 2015
Despite the gripes and stereotypes, taxes in Massachusetts just aren’t that high. Not compared to other states, anyway.

Across New England, only New Hampshire has lower state and local taxes. And compared to the United States as a whole, Massachusetts taxes are below average.

Posted by Barry Popik
Other ExpressionsOther States • Thursday, February 11, 2016 • Permalink