Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Meanwhile in Massachusetts, we need cash

Governor Deval Patrick is looking to boost revenues by over a billion dollars in part to pay for Romneycare, starting with a 1% increase in the state income tax.  But not to worry: he wants to lower the sales tax.
To help this bad medicine go down, Mr. Patrick would lower the state sales tax to 4.5% from 6.25%. He says the sales levy "is widely regarded to be the most regressive tax that states impose," which is funny given that Mr. Patrick is the same guy who raised the rate to 6.25% from 5% in 2009. Then he said raising the rate was essential to pay state bills and wouldn't hurt the economy. Now he says it's regressive and must be cut.
I can't find sales tax revenue figures online but I'm going to wager that the higher rate did not produce more revenues as Bay Staters stocked up in tax-free New Hampshire or shopped online.  This latter point explains why Massachusetts badgered Amazon into collecting sales tax on Bay Staters starting November 1, 2013.

Hey, do you know who has two thumbs and will be doing all his Christmas shopping on Halloween?  This guy.

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