Before we consider any broad-based tax increase, we must first regain the public’s confidence in government’s ability to steward public funds wisely. That’s what Governor Patrick’s reform agenda is about, and we still have work to do:
o Transportation Reform – This bill is now in conference. Real transportation reform requires simplicity, accountability, regional equity and true cost savings. The Governor will not support new transportation revenues without real reforms, and we will be forced to rely on toll hikes and MBTA fair increases and service cuts to pay our bills.
o Pension Reform – This bill is also in conference. We must end the abuses and loopholes that justifiably outrage the general public and embarrass everyone in state government. A limited reform bill does not meet that test.
o Ethics Reform – The Senate has taken no action at all yet on the Governor’s ethics reform measures.
o Municipal Reforms – Several proposals to give cities and towns more tools to ease property taxes still await action, including the cost-saving GIC for municipal employees and elimination of the telecom exemption.
o Targeted Revenue Reforms – Proposals to end sales tax exemptions on alcohol, soda and candy to fund public health and wellness programs have not moved. The failure to take up these latter issues has caused us to have to make deeper cuts in local aid and other programs in the current fiscal year.
Need for Revenue
The need for new revenue is clear as we work to preserve essential state services amid an unprecedented nationwide recession.
Governor Patrick has put forward several specific measures and reforms to help generate new revenue. In particular, an increase in the gas tax would create jobs and support economic
The Governor’s revenue package will grow jobs and help secure our long-term economic future, as well as dedicate revenue to important priorities like education, health care, education and local aid.
Please share widely!