It’s Wednesday in Charlie Baker’s World, and it seems Charlie Baker is having a hard time getting over the hump. The Boston Globe reported today that Charlie’s tax cut plans could lead to some serious consequences for our communities in the real world:
At times, Baker has suggested he would seek the reductions immediately after taking office, while at other times he has suggested he wants four years to phase in the cuts, to soften the $2.5 billion blow to the state budget.
The distinction is important, because if Baker were to try to implement the tax cuts right away, they would almost certainly force him to break his pledge not to slash local aid to cities and towns, budget specialists say, since the state is already facing a projected deficit of $2.5 billion next year.
In Charlie Baker’s World, Charlie says he opposes Question 3, the ballot initiative that would roll back the sales tax to 3 percent. In the real world, experts say his tax plans could create the same cuts to state services as if Question 3 were to pass:
Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the timing of Baker’s tax cuts is critical, because if Baker were to sign them next year, they would increase the deficit to about $4.5 billion and “require drastic cuts across all of state government,” including cuts to local aid and higher education.
The impact, he said, would be equivalent to passage of Question 3, the ballot question to cut the sales tax rate from 6.25 percent to 3 percent, which Baker opposes.
So if Charlie chooses to phase in tax cuts, things will run smoothly, right? Not so fast:
Spread over four years, the reductions “would still require major cuts in programs across state government,” but “might be less irresponsible,” Widmer said.
Sounds like in the real world Charlie’s plans are either irresponsible or, er, less irresponsible?