Yesterday both the house and senate passed a $500M tax package, supposedly to pay for transportation projects. The taxes include a 3 cent increase in the gas tax that will increase every year with inflation, this way the legislature will never have to vote on the tax again. The house passed the bill by a vote of 106-47 (roll call not yet available). The Senate only had six votes against.
Also included in the legislation is a software services tax. The tax, according to Geoff Diehl (R-Whitman) is poorly defined and will be subject to interpretation by the Department of Revenue, and must be enacted within 4 days of passage, to start July 1, 2013.
Deval Patrick has also said that he is going to refuse to sign the bill because it, wait for it, doesn’t raise taxes enough.
In a statement issued by his office Wednesday evening, Patrick said he could not support the bill because it fails to account for a revenue source that will not be available in the future. While the statement did not specify that source, it was an apparent reference to tolls on the western portion of the Massachusetts Turnpike that are scheduled to be taken down in 2017.
Without those tolls, the Patrick administration believes the $805 million in new transportation funding that the bill promises by fiscal year 2018 would not be achievable.
Of course the Governor threw his temper tantrum while out of the state. There is no news if it involved a bottle of chardonnay and a nap.