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Top state lawmakers are seriously considering a controversial and politically risky plan to boost the sales tax by one penny to 6 percent, socking it to Bay State residents already facing possible gas and booze hikes.
Both House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) and Senate Ways and Means chairman Steve Panagiotakos (D-Lowell) are eying a sales tax of 6 cents on the dollar that they say would bring an additional $750 million a year into state coffers.
A conservative think tank blasted any talk of a sales tax hike in a tough economy, saying that even a one penny increase could mean a loss of 10,000 private sector jobs along with a $40 million drop in investment revenue.
“Any tax increase the state undertakes right now will have a negative effect on the economy because it will drive business to other states,” said Beacon Hill Institute Executive Director David Tuerck, who urged lawmakers to focus on cuts instead.