House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo won his first political victory with the 108-to-51 vote, persuading lawmakers to sign onto his plan to increase the sales tax from 5 percent to 6.25 percent. The vote also heightens the tension among top Beacon Hill Democrats, who have had sharp disagreements over how to solve the state's budget crisis.
Patrick opposes the plan and sent an ultimatum to all 200 members of the Legislature yesterday afternoon, promising to veto the increase unless lawmakers first enact transportation, ethics, and pension law changes he has sought.
"While I recognize the need for revenue, raising taxes of any kind during a recession is a bad idea," Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, who has not ruled out challenging Patrick, said in a statement.
Keep in mind, Massachusetts is receiving $3billion in federal bailout funds from our federal government. And they won a scare tactic campaign victory in November by scaring voters into voting against an income tax rollback.
Treasurer Cahill's remarks highlight the problem with politics and an uneducated public: the problem isn't revenue generation, it's spending. The problem in Massachusetts has always been and will always be spending, not a lack of revenue. Toll roads, high excise taxes, high property taxes, high sales taxes...the state gets plenty of revenue. It just doesn't know how to spend it effectively.
And Deval, while I like what he's doing, the causes of his action are problematic. Per above, he's essentially saying, "I won't allow a tax increase unless you tell me I can spend it any way I want."
The politicians running our state have left the voters and citizens completely out of the political process. I hope to leave Massachusetts at some point when it makes sense, both career and family-wise, and let the socialists infect the entire state before it collapses. We're at the point of no return: it's easier to let things fall apart so we can build anew than try going back to the values upon which this state was founded.