Proposition 2 1/2

As the mentioned here, the most famous Massachusetts initiative petition is known as “Proposition 2 1/2”, which just happens to be a perfect example of the fusion between the state and local level I&R processes in the Commonwealth. Ever since Prop. 2 1/2 passed in 1982, voters in a municipality must pass a “Proposition 2 1/2 override” to increase property taxes beyond 2.5% of the assessed value of all taxable property contained in it the municipality. Towns rarely do pass Prop. 2 1/2 overrides.

If you’re an advocate of the initiative and referendum process, you should hold Massachusetts in high regard. Although the state currently ties with Oklahoma in having the most restrictive process out of the fifteen states that offer residents full initiative, referendum, and constitutional amendment rights, the open town meeting model that has characterized local governance in the Commonwealth since the 17th century has been the longstanding model for the philosophy of citizen initiated lawmaking that is central to the I&R process.