“How Will Jay Pay?” #3 - MassGOP Sends Gonzalez His History Of Tax Hike Proposals

BOSTON -- Today, the MassGOP continued “How Will Jay Pay?” - the ongoing series to help Jay Gonzalez identify which taxes he will raise to pay for his costly agenda. Today, because voters remain in the dark about Gonzalez’s tax-raising plans, the MassGOP will deliver Gonzalez the long list of tax increases - both proposed and enacted - from the Patrick Administration, where he served as budget chief, including increases to both the sales and income taxes that would hurt working families.

“Since he refuses to provide voters with a concrete plan of how he intends to raise our taxes, it’s incumbent upon Jay Gonzalez to rule out sales and income tax hikes that hurt working families and our economy like the ones he and his allies proposed during the Patrick Administration,” said MassGOP Chairman Kirsten Hughes. “To be sure, if Gonzalez uses his Patrick-era tax hikes as a blueprint, they won’t cover all of his $60 billion in proposed new spending - not even close. And that’s what should worry voters the most.”

 
Background

Gonzalez And Patrick Raised $1B In Taxes

 
Gonzalez worked for Governor Patrick’s Administration and Finance secretariat as Patrick raised taxes by $1 billion in 2009. (Matt Viser, "Patrick stresses upside of tax hikes," The Boston Globe, 6/27/09)


Gonzalez And Patrick Proposed Billions More In Taxes That Even Tax-Friendly Democrats Rejected As Too Extreme

 
Gonzalez was budget chief during the construction of Patrick’s FY14 budget, which was filed days after he left state government. (Michael Levenson and Noah Bierman, “Patrick proposes $34.8b budget,” The Boston Globe, 1/23/13)

Gonzalez takes credit for formulating the tax plan: GONZALEZ: “One of the things that I worked on before I left the Patrick Administration was his big revenue proposal that he proposed two years before he left office...We created that whole proposal in a room by ourselves…” (Jon Keller, “Keller At Large: Democratic Nominee For Gov. Jay Gonzalez Says 'I'm Not Deval Patrick,’” WBZ-TV, 9/9/18)

The Gonzalez-Patrick FY14 budget included continued efforts to tax soda, candy, and water bottles. “Patrick had already described plans to hike the income tax and slash the sales tax, but on Wednesday he revealed still further proposals to apply the sales tax to candy and soda, which are currently exempt, and to raise the state tax on cigarettes by $1, to $3.51 per package….He would also ­extend the nickel deposit on bottled beverages to include water and sports drinks.” (Michael Levenson and Noah Bierman, “Patrick proposes $34.8b budget,” The Boston Globe, 1/23/13)

  • Even tax-friendly Democrats were skittish about the plan. “Stephen Brewer, a Barre Democrat who leads the Senate budget committee, said that while he was not ‘taxphobic,’ the governor was asking for a lot. ‘He has certainly thrown the full monty here,’ Brewer said.” (Michael Levenson, Noah Bierman, “Patrick proposes $34.8b budget,” The Boston Globe, 1/23/13)

  • The failed plan drew opposition from both Democratic leaders in the Legislature. “House Speaker Robert DeLeo has countered that, in the current economic environment, the state’s middle class cannot afford the higher income taxes prescribed by Patrick. Senate President Therese Murray has lined up with DeLeo, leading to a 2-on-1 dynamic that has helped escalate tensions on Beacon Hill to an unusual pitch. The Senate plans to vote on the House-Senate compromise on Thursday.” (Jim O’Sullivan, “Governor Deval Patrick pressures lawmakers over taxes, transportation spending,” The Boston Globe, 4/8/12)
  • The Democratic Legislature rejected the Patrick-Gonzalez proposal. “Lawmakers rejected a plan Gov. Deval Patrick proposed that would have raised $1.9 billion in new revenue for the state by increasing the income tax rate, lowering the sales tax rate and eliminating dozens of personal and corporate tax exemptions and deductions. The governor argued his plan would not only generate the money needed to invest in transportation and education, but make the tax system more equitable for people across the income spectrum. Lawmakers opted for a smaller package of tax hikes adding to the costs of gasoline and tobacco.” (Colleen Quinn, “Commission backs graduated income tax,” State House News Service, 2/25/14)


After Gonzalez’s Tax Plan Failed, Patrick Attempted A Failed Tax On The State’s Technology Industry That Backfired

Patrick introduced, and was forced to repeal, a “poorly written,” expansive new technology tax that drew fierce blowback from the state’s keystone tech industry. “Earlier this week, the Massachusetts Senate and House each voted overwhelmingly to abolish the levy, which imposed the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax on a range of computer and software services. Tech executives complained the tax was so poorly written that it was confusing to interpret and could add significant new costs on purchasing software and related products.” (Michael B. Farrell, “Patrick signs ‘tech tax’ repeal,” The Boston Globe, 9/27/13)


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