(Thank you Representative Diehl for weighing in. – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)
House and Senate conference committee members are still deliberating over the Transportation bill that includes “new revenue” (aka “Taxes”). I believe there are 7 reasons why Massachusetts taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay higher taxes.
For the past 5 months our state revenue has continued to grow, according to DOR. Just last month (April) the Commonwealth collected $359 million above projections. That’s 71% of what the House voted in new tax increases ($500M – H.3382). When you add in previous months, it is clear that “new revenue” is not needed. Below are the 7 reasons…
1. April tax collections are up 14.3%. Overall tax collections are up 5.5% over 2012 and $510 above benchmarks. This represents 5 straight months of collections over benchmark.
2. My ‘Tax Amnesty’ plan. According to figures released from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, there are 232,725 delinquent income taxpayers owning an average of $5,654 which totals $1,315,827,150. Business taxpayers total 66,200 and owe an average of $35,723 which totals $2,364.862,600. If the state collects a minimum of 15% of the $3.6 billion owed, this will generate $540 million. New Jersey enacted a similar plan and raised over $600 million.
3. Taxes Have Already Been Increased This Year. The Governor has already raised taxes on the people of Massachusetts this year. Due to pressure from the Governor, consumers will have to pay more when buying from Amazon.com. No taxes were decreased to offset the Amazon tax, so there will be additional revenue.
4. Patrick Administration Mismanagement. Governor Patrick has made many costly mistakes such as the crime lab scandal, which is estimated to cost $332 million. It is estimated that there is $50 million to $180 million in waste within the Department of Transitional Assistance. In addition, the USDA is requiring Massachusetts to repay $27 million for overpayment of SNAP benefits due to lack of adequate oversight.
5. Tax Increases are Bad for the Economy. Chief Executive magazine ranked Massachusetts as the 47th on the list of best states for businesses for 2013. They said taxes on technology are a recipe for economic disaster.
6. The Tax Increases will hurt Middle Class and Working Poor. Massachusetts household income has dropped 1.8%. The 3¢ gas tax will take more money out of families’ wallets, plus it is tied to inflation so as the Federal Reserve stops printing money and allows interest rates to rise, inflation will cause this tax to increase rapidly.
7. Massachusetts has a spending problem. Over the past 20 years our state budget has grown from $13 billion to $33 billion. That’s a 250% increase.
There is no reason to raid the taxpayers’ wallets again! There is no emergency funding crisis. These tax increases just hurt the middle class, jeopardize our economy and raise the cost of living. The conference committee should consider funds we already have and drop current plans that raise new revenue.