Lawmakers consider unpopular tax hikes

BOSTON (WWLP) — Legislative leaders are taking a hard look at Governor Deval Patrick’s tax reform proposals, which hikes up the income tax, lowers the state sales tax and doubles personal exemptions.  House Speaker Robert DeLeo says some of the governor’s tax reforms go too far.

“As we started to review the proposals, there [were] various discussions about elimination of certain deductions, for instance,” said DeLeo.  “People have grave concerns about, you know, the proposal as a whole.”

DeLeo says he’s concerned with aspects of Patrick’s plan, such as measures that eliminate tax deductions on college expenses and mortgages.  In Springfield, voters are calling their lawmakers against the tax proposals.

“Essentially everybody that’s contacted me is opposed to it so I think, you know, again, people are hurting,” said Rep. Angelo Puppolo (D-Springfield).  “People are very, very concerned about any tax increases and I think what we need to be is vet them out very, very thoroughly.”

State lawmakers are still undecided on whether they support the tax reforms.  They’re trying to determine what the overall effect of the proposals will be. State budget hearings will begin next week on Valentine’s Day and until then, lawmakers are keeping an open mind.

“At this point it’s premature for us to rule anything in or anything out until we do our work and due diligence,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brian Dempsey (D-Haverhill).

Governor Patrick’s tax reforms aim to generate more than two billion dollars in new spending money that will go toward major investments in transportation and education.

Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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