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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Showdown at the Beacon Hill Corral

OK. a little dramatic to be sure -- and certainly nothing that will happen this week. But the irresistible force of expected state services is about to hit the immovable object of tax avoidance. And right before the income tax filing deadline.

The House will unveil its version of the fiscal 2006 state budget this week and all signs point to them making it balance through cuts. Speaker Sal DiMasi has said "no" to Gov. Deval Patrick's proposals for closing corporate tax loopholes and a package of local option taxes. DiMasi and the House are also on record against casino gambling proposals, while Patrick has not yet made up his mind.

Once again, the public may be ahead of its leaders (and know-it-alls like me).

The second piece of the Globe poll finds more of an openness to the proposals among the public than legislators (of course we're not talking about raising the sales or income taxes).

Massachusetts residents appear to favor Governor Deval Patrick's proposals for raising revenues to bridge the state budget gap and ease the property tax burden, with a small majority expressing support for closing what he described as corporate tax loopholes, and for giving communities the right to impose a local tax on meals and hotels, according to a new Globe poll.

The survey also found significant and growing interest in expanded gambling as a source for state revenue, an option Patrick is currently studying. Two-thirds of residents, 67 percent, said they would support putting slot machines at racetracks in the state , compared with 54 percent four years ago. Support for a casino has grown to 61 percent.

The numbers aren't overwhelming -- 56 percent approve of the corporate tax loophole closing, 53 percent say OK to things like local option hotel-motel taxes. These levies also represent the classic "don't tax me, don't tax thee, tax the man behind the tree" philosophy that governs the United States.

Nevertheless, it's mildly surprising to see a majority of Massachusetts residents -- attuned to 16 years of the GOP free lunch -- to support any tax increases.

And it will be interesting to see what these numbers look like in a few weeks after the House budget -- and its cuts -- have been around long enough to digest.

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Blogger Ryan Adams said...

It's quite easy: they don't view it as tax increased, they see it as tax fairness. It's no big secret that Corporate America is getting away with taxes that amount to highway robbery of the American people. People get that all Deval Patrick is asking for is some tax fairness - and if the people have been asked to pay for prop override after prop override, it's time for Big Business to sacrifice a little too.

April 09, 2007 10:53 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Yes but...Let's see if they still feel the same way when AIM or the Chamber comes up with some 30-second spots that claim it's only going to come back at folks in the form of higher prices or lost jobs.

I think it's s safe bet business is ready to fit this one with everything they have. It's better to start ahead, because those numbers are going to take a serious hit.

Sadly, that's the one area everyday folks can't compete in. There's no cash for ads and lobbyists and the blogosphere hasn't come anything close to a critical mass.

April 09, 2007 7:31 PM  

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