Vasconcelos: Tax Returns Discussion a 'Distraction'

Thomas Vasconcelos, Republican candidate for 26th Middlesex District state representative seat, answers Democratic incumbent Timothy Toomey call for his challengers to release their tax returns.

The headline on this article was corrected on Friday, Oct. 5 at 2:45 p.m.

Editor's note: A copy of this letter was provided to Somerville Patch by Thomas Vasconcelos. Read our previous article on state Rep. Timothy Toomey's call for his challengers to release their tax returns.

Representative Toomey,

I have decided to not release my tax returns.

I cannot release copies of my tax returns for all three years (2009-2011) due to the fact that I have only filed taxes for one of those three years. I was a full-time student, taking classes, unemployed, or involved in paid/unpaid internships in 2009, 2010, and 2011. My total salary was under the filing threshold during two out of the last three years.

Unless you can give me a logical reason as to why I should release my tax returns, I will not give in to this diversion. You claim that it is for “transparency.” Other than the issue regarding the optional MA income tax rate, I cannot fathom a valid reason for how my income (or lack of income in my case) brings anything that is worthwhile to the dialogue concerning the topics that we should be talking about.

Tax returns are private documents, which candidates are not required to release. I have already filed the required financial reports with the State Ethics Commission and the Office of Campaign and Political Finance. Campaign financing and taxes, in particular, have become central themes in this election for particular candidates. Therefore, I am more than happy to answer questions that anyone may have for me, as long as I find the questions pertinent to the election/discussion.

I would like to know if Mr. Connolly chose to pay the optional higher tax rate on his Massachusetts income taxes. I think this is a valid question since both you and Mr. Connolly are generally for higher taxes. I may disagree with you when it comes to tax policy, but I give you credit for putting your money where your mouth is, and for paying the higher rate. Despite this small scrupulous act, your tax policy views are nevertheless flawed. 

Having said all of the above, this discussion on tax returns is a distraction. I suggest that we focus on the real issues, and not turn this race into a festival performance. I, like many voters, am sick of the political games that most politicians play. This is why I am running for State Representative. Our politicians focus far too much attention on superficial matters, while neglecting important issues. I am tired of the bull, and want to focus on real reform.

There are tens of thousands of recent college graduates within Massachusetts who are struggling to find quality jobs since receiving their diploma. I am one of the unfortunate graduates to have entered the job market during one of the worst economic downturns in the last 50 years. Like me, millions of Americans are struggling to find a quality job in the area of study that has earned him/her their credentials. While millions of Americans are struggling to find just one decent job, you are feeding from the government trough with not one, but two taxpayer funded jobs.

Mr. Toomey, you are simply out of touch with the average American living within our district. This may be the reason for your infatuation with my tax returns, and your abandonment of the issues that are important to most people, like me. I am connecting with the average voter in Somerville and Cambridge and have strong support from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. I look forward to shocking the State House statists come election night.

This one is for you Rep. Toomey:


Tom Vasconcelos


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