Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Statement on New Tax Increases

Today I released the following statement regarding the implementation of a 3-cents-per-gallon gas tax increase (with future increases tied to inflation), and a new 6.25 percent sales tax on computer software upgrades:
“Today, people who are working hard to pay their bills and employers who are trying to keep their businesses afloat in a stagnant economy are being hit with hundreds of millions of dollars in new taxes, taxes that could have and should have been avoided.  These sweeping new taxes represent the outcome of a choice the Legislature didn’t have to make, and now Massachusetts consumers and businesses are going to be forced to live with the consequences of that choice for years to come.

Both the House and Senate Republican Caucuses offered comprehensive alternative proposals during the transportation finance debate in April that would have paved the way for long-term sustainability, reliability and efficiencies within our transportation infrastructure without resorting to massive increases in taxes and spending.  Republicans offered a series of reforms that sought to capture the billions of dollars in promised savings from the 2009 Transportation Reform Act that have gone unrealized, while increasing the efficiency and integrity of the state’s transportation system and expanding partnership opportunities with the private sector, but those reforms were largely ignored.

In our quest to finance transportation improvements, we should not have forgotten our responsibility to protect the interests of the taxpayers and the state’s economy.  Unfortunately, we have lost sight of our obligation to the taxpayers, and now consumers and employers are left with a regressive gas tax increase that is running on auto-pilot, with no legislative accountability, and a new tax on computer software upgrades that the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation warns ‘strikes at the heart of the innovation economy and will stifle job creation for years to come’.”