Dems: Plenty Of Money For Pay Hikes, None For Tax Relief

BOSTON -- Beacon Hill Democrats had no trouble finding $18M to hike their own pay earlier this year, which they rammed through with virtually no debate, but when it comes to providing sales tax relief for consumers across the Commonwealth, Democrat leaders are now saying they can't find the money.

"Democrats jumped at the chance to pad their own pockets with taxpayer money, but are letting the state's consumers and taxpayers down by failing to provide tax relief this summer. Democrats' willingness to enrich themselves on the taxpayers' dime and then turn their backs on them just months later shows just how out of touch they really are." -MassGOP Chairman Kirsten Hughes 

Dems Balk At Guv's Plan For Consumers Tax Relief With Sales Tax Holiday

"'It makes little sense for the Governor to file this legislation now when the there are several similar bills already in committee. Each year our hope is to hold a sales tax holiday to give our hardworking citizens and local businesses a boost, which is why the House votes consistently in favor of the sales tax holiday whenever revenues allow,' House Speaker Robert DeLeo said. 'This year, the Commonwealth experienced unpredicted revenue shortfalls and accordingly, the Legislature had to make significant budget cuts to programs and services.'

"Senate President Stan Rosenberg said he would await the recommendations of the committee that would be charged with reviewing the bill. 'The Commonwealth's fiscal situation has not really changed,' he said.
Rep. Jay Kaufman, the House chair of the Revenue Committee, said the sales tax holiday bills 'will continue to sit' before the panel without a vote planned on whether to endorse them. He said he hopes the Legislature does not act on Baker's bill.

'Sales tax holidays under any circumstances are a mistake, and under these circumstances are a colossal mistake,' the Lexington Democrat told the News Service. He described sales tax holidays as "sometimes politically attractive" but 'not good public policy.'" (Katie Lannan, "With lawmakers on holiday, Baker bids to revive sales tax suspension," State House News Service, 8/2/17)

But Found Plenty Of Money For Their Own Pay Hikes Just Months Ago

"The Massachusetts Legislature on Thursday quickly overrode Governor Charlie Baker’s veto of an $18 million pay package that provides huge salary increases — 45 percent or more for some — to the state’s legislative leaders, judges, and other top officials." (Frank Phillips, "Legislature overrides pay raise veto," The Boston Globe, 2/2/17)