Boston - Representatives Shaunna O’Connell (Taunton), Sheila Harrington (Groton), Keiko Orral (Lakeville), Geoff Diehl (Whitman), Kevin Kuros (Uxbridge), Ryan Fattman (Sutton), Marc Lombardo (Billerica), James Lyons (Andover), Angelo D’Emilia (Bridgewater), Steven Howitt (Seekonk) and Nick Boldyga (Southwick) announced that they will oppose Governor Deval Patrick’s plan to raise taxes by $1 billion to fund more transportation spending.
Governor Patrick released his transportation plan earlier today. In his proposal he suggested multiple ways to increase taxes including hiking the sales tax to 7.7% and the income tax to 5.66%, tying the gas tax to inflation and creating a green fee.
The Republican members strongly feel that if the Governor focused on encouraging the economy, revenues can be generated through more economic activity instead of raising taxes.
“We may be the minority party, but we are going to fight his plan. Raising taxes after 4 months of unemployment increases and at a time when taxes on medical devices are being instituted due to Obamacare would further hurt our economy. We need to increase revenues through job growth not by milking the few taxpayers we have left,” said O’Connell.
"The Patrick Administration has already increased our taxes," noted Rep. Jim Lyons of Andover. "They pushed through both 25% Sales Tax hike and 25% Meals Tax hike. With the Patrick Administration, there's never enough tax dollars to satisfy them. There's always an excuse to extract something more from hardworking taxpaying families.
"We need reform in state government, not unending tax hikes," Lyons emphasized. "Every day news reports chronicle the scandals in the administration's shoddy drug testing labs and in its lack of oversight of pharmaceutical manufacturing. It's time to put a halt to these excesses. Instead of reforming state government, the Patrick Administration insists on pressing more and more burdensome taxes on working families."
"Clearly there need to be improvements in our state's transportation system, but with over $26B in tax credits given out annually, plus a $1B yearly Life Science incentive for companies that would be here because of our hospitals and schools anyway, we should not be reaching into taxpayers' pockets when they are already hurting from the poor economy," added Diehl.
"The Governor needs to look for reform before revenue," said Kuros. "The MBTA flat-out ignored cost saving measures proposed by the former Inspector General. While the MBTA is only one part of the overall transportation picture, we shouldn't be looking for taxpayers to help organizations that can't or won't help themselves."
"Governor Patrick is paving the road back to Taxachusetts with his proposals," said Fattman. "The people of our Commonwealth are still waiting for their income taxes to be reduced to 5%, as they voted for over a decade ago. It's time for the Governor to start listening to the people's wishes.”
"These tax increases would be devastating to economic growth in the Commonwealth. As my District is comprised of towns along the border of New Hampshire, this increase in sales tax and gas tax would have a devastating impact on local businesses" added Harrington. "That, coupled with the excessive burden it forces upon all taxpayers in the Commonwealth, is completely unacceptable."
The representatives feel raising taxes will put Massachusetts at a huge competitive disadvantage at a time when other states are looking to lower taxes to encourage economic growth.