Mass House Passes Sales Tax Hike

The Massachusetts House, working into the night, passed a sales tax hike of 1.25%, bringing the sales tax to 6.25%. The House passed the increase after a day of hard lobbying by the Speaker, by a vote of 108-51. I will post the full tally as soon as it is available. The margin that the Speaker achieved was veto proof, with 107 needed to get to that mark. The Speaker felt obligated by the Governor’s veto threat to drive the whip hard, and he certainly did do that. The fight now moves to the Senate, where Ways and Means will have to produce a budget with a more realistic revenue number than the House.

It is inconceivable to me that the Speaker would have gone to all this trouble if he did not have an agreement with Senate President Murray to have the Senate move in the same direction on revenue. Will the Senate be able to produce a veto proof majority for a sales tax hike to 6.25%? It is going to be a battle, with Republicans unable to produce sufficient numbers to help the Governor sustain a potential veto. But what will come out of the Senate will be a budget that will show how little of an impact this hike will really have. Constituencies that believe this tax will be budgetary salvation are in for a rude suprise. I have talked about the numbers in a prior post, so no need to rehash here. Today’s Tribune has a story on the sales tax proposal. I called the proposal a job killer, and that it is. Read the Tribune story here.

Sales Tax Roll Call Vote is Now Posted Below.


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7 Responses to Mass House Passes Sales Tax Hike

  1. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    Democratic math: a tax hike that raises the rate from 5% to 6.25% is a 1.25% tax hike

    Fair and balanced Math: a 1.25% tax hike would yield a sales tax rate of 5.0625% not 6.25%.

    Conservative math: A tax rate of 6.25% is 25% over 5.00%.

    The rest of your entry is true. I still don’t think your ‘friends’ are doing us a favor.

    Have you talked to Steve Baddour about the senate’s next move? Very quiet over there.

    If passed will the Loop be hurt?

    That loud cheer you hear is from New Hampshire.



  2. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    After all that is happened with everyone pushing ‘reform before revenue’ one must be cynical.

    Does the General and Great court of Massachusetts ever keep its word? Ever?

    I never truly believed they cared for ‘reform’ in any manner. They have too much invested in the status quo.

    I believe they pressed the sales tax hike of 25% to keep from facing a discussion of ‘reform’.

    Can anyone tell me they aren’t corrupt?



  3. Fred Mertz says:


    Did you recently find that % key on your calculator? You seem enamored …

    I can tell you that I don’t think that the General Court is corrupt: they are staring at a very large hole, from the bottom. The right answers are not the popular ones (either raise taxes or cut personnel/services in a recession/depression).

    Mr. Mayor:

    I do hope the fun is just beginning. I think if the Legislature does not contemplate the reforms they promised in a more meaningful way (and they’re going to have to go beyond what they were previously thinking), it’s going to be quite a sleigh ride.

    I think you’ve got the essence of the problem exactly correct. No free lunches to be had anywhere. Keep speaking up!



  4. Jules Gordon says:


    I am not surprised you would think the General Court is not corrupt.

    The things they do are designed to maximize the benefits to them selves (or wives, or uncles, or brother-in-laws, or sister-in-laws, or aunts)…well you get the idea.

    Let me ask you a question; do you think there is pork or earmarks in this bill and were they used by the Mr. Speaker to buy votes for the sales tax 25%%%% increase?

    Jules (RWT)


  5. Fred Mertz says:


    Yes, I suspect there is.

    Has been since the beginning of time. That’s how politics works. As long as We The People stay informed and on top of things, we can stop the worst of it.

    Is this different from any human endeavor that you’ve been associated with? Did your company’s management have perks that perhaps the workers didn’t?

    But now, they’re having to stare reality in the face: too many workers doing the same jobs for different agencies, pensions way out of line with modern business practices, health care costs they can’t contain even by taking the simplest of steps in moving employees to the GIC.

    All in all, I’m not far off from your position, but I don’t ascribe the corruption motive. I think it’s a system that’s grown large from the good days, and now things aren’t that good.

    I said months ago this group of politicians are going to have to earn their salaries this time. Getting more obvious every day.



  6. Jules Gordon says:


    Normally, I would agree that an informed public should be able to offset corruption by voting in a new legislature.

    Unfortunately, the public has been compromised and dependent on political largess. The public has been corrupted as well.

    Massachusetts is lost.

    Jules (RWT)


  7. Fred Mertz says:


    The public is corrupt too? I guess I was wrong, we are a bit apart …



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