BOSTON -- Given that Jay Gonzalez has $59 billion left to raise to fund his costly agenda, he may want to spend more time on his next tax plan, after his first big idea was ripped by his own party and observers right out of the gate as "an embarrassing dud," and "spectacularly bad." Over the weekend, the onslaught of criticism continued from across the Commonwealth, as the plan was called a "gimmick," and a "bad idea," while a student newspaper warned it would hurt low- and middle-income students.
CommonWealth: College Tax Not Getting Reception Gonzalez Hoped For
"THE MASSACHUSETTS REPUBLICAN PARTY has hammered Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jay Gonzalez for not releasing details of how he would pay for an ambitious agenda that calls for new spending on education and transportation. Gonzalez has answered that with a plan — but he’s now getting hammered over the details of it.
"But the plan to tax big universities is not meeting anywhere near the kind of favorable reception as the idea of going after high-earning individuals.
The best Gonzalez seems to be getting is golf claps from leading Democrats, many of whom spoke out against the Republican plan when it was rolled out.
"But with even fellow Democrats sounding lukewarm toward the endowment tax, at best, the political question of whether it will get voters excited about his campaign seems much less clear." (Read More)
BU Daily Free Press: "Gonzalez’s College Endowment Tax Would Hurt Middle And Lower Class Students"
"But just because a university has a large endowment doesn’t mean its students are wealthy. In his efforts to equalize education funding, Gonzalez could be harming a large population of lower and middle class college students. If these endowments should go to anything in the immediate future, they should go toward meeting 100 percent of need-based aid and reducing tuition." (Read More)
Berkshire Eagle: Gonzalez's "Gimmick" Is Wrong Approach
"Considering that [Gonzalez's] campaign to unseat incumbent Republican Gov. Charlie Baker faces a steep uphill climb, the emphasis on meat-and-potatoes issues makes sense. What does not make sense, however, is his attempt to instigate class warfare as a means to pay for those dreams.
"By suggesting that 'ordinary people' would not mind imposing a 1.6 percent tax on historically tax-exempt colleges and universities whose endowments exceed $1 billion each, he has chosen an 'us against them' path that is as counterproductive as it is inaccurate. It also echoes a regrettable provision of the congressional Republican tax law calling for a 1.4 percent tax on the earnings of large endowments." (Read More)
Boston Herald: "Endowment Tax Is A Bad Idea"
"The proposal could not have been an easy one for Gonzalez to choose because it looks a lot like the GOP’s endowment tax that was included in the Trump tax cut bill, only it’s worse: Trump’s tax of 1.4 percent was aimed at the earnings on the endowments’ investments while Gonzalez’s proposal directly targets the endowment in its entirety. It would result in the transfer of nearly $1.1 billion a year of private college endowments into the coffers of the commonwealth of Massachusetts.
"Sens. Liz Warren, Ed Markey and Gov. Charlie Baker all panned the GOP plan, which would inflict far less pain on colleges, so Gonzalez is largely flying solo on this one. 'I start with the proposition that when President Trump proposed this idea, I thought it was a bad idea then, and I still think it’s a bad idea,' Gov. Baker said. The fact is that Massachusetts has a spending problem and not a taxing problem, and in a world in which Jay Gonzalez is governor, that problem would balloon in size with his new investment initiatives." (Read More)