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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gored ox alert

Christmas is arriving early for Massachusetts lobbyists with word the state wants to look at cutting back special interest tax breaks. But the advice for the rest of us? Hold on to your wallets.

Prepare yourself for tales of woe -- and threats to move out-of-state -- if state lawmakers take heed of the Tax Expenditure Commission's expected recommendations that the Commonwealth reduce the number and amount of the $26 billion in tax breaks available in Massachusetts. The current state budget consumes $29.4 billion.

The wailing has already begun:
“The idea that there are $26 billion in giveaways is unrealistic,’’ said Joe Donovan, a tax attorney with the Boston law firm Sullivan & Worcester.
There is a ring of truth to that. The breaks include the standard income tax deduction and the sales tax exemptions on on food and clothing.

But there is also an exemption on sales taxes on jet engine parts. And the more infamous include those for failed companies like Evergreen Solar and for the movie industry.

Expect a concerted effort by those whose oxen may be gored to raise a hue and cry about the unfairness of losing their benefits -- and the joy of doing business in "tax-free" New Hampshire. And make sure to check the lobbying reports to see who is looking to save a buck at your and my expense.

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