Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Massachusetts Senate Passes 25% Increase in the State Sales Tax Includes Hotel and Personal Property Tax Increases!

New Hampshire Welcome: "Live Free or Die"

The Massachusetts Senateapproved new taxes last evening - including a rise in the state sales tax from 5% to 6.25% and an increase in taxes on retail alcohol sales. Other taxes passed by the senate, are at the discretion of cash-strapped municipalities – a 2% increase on hotel and restaurant taxes, and most disconcerting, Telecommunications tax on personal property: allowing “cities and towns to assess personal property taxes on poles and overhead wires owned by telecommunications companies on public streets and property.” This will mean an increase in both telephone and Internet charges to consumers that can ill afford yet another “fee”.

Additionally, it appears that an increase in the gas tax was still on the table: according to the Boston Globe: a first round of votes shot down the 19 cent per gallon increase proposed by Governor Deval Patrick, an 11 cent per gallon tax was then rejected. Expect the Gas Tax Increase to be readdressed in some not to distant "Emergency Session".

The Senate passed the bill with only 10 members voting against any increases in State taxes, the 5 Republican State Senators, and those Democrat members that either grew a conscious or are in districts where any tax increase may allow a Disney Character to replace them in the next election.

From WRKO, individuals within the Commonwealth who still have a sense of humor left, dubbed the Massachusetts Senate Bill: “New Hampshire Economic Recovery Act of 2009”. No Kidding. Increasing the State income tax by 25% will only serve to drive retail sales over the border to friendly New Hampshire, with the possibility of job losses from retailers watching sales decline even further during this recession. Additionally, the added tax burden will be passed onto those consumers who can least afford yet another financial woe, those on fixed incomes. Food prices have already risen approximately 15% in the past year alone, add the 25% increase which applies to all paper products, and seniors will be making the tough choice between a pound of hamburger and a package of toilet paper.

The State expects to generate millions in new revenue from these taxes, but one can bet the house, as in previous fee hikes and tax increases, as long as there are no reforms in the excesses of Beacon Hill, or the people revolt and look at Republican and Third party candidates as viable alternatives to those Democrats on the Hill who are so entrenched, they will have to pry their cold, dead bodies, out of their House and Senate seats, this new tax increase will not eliminate a debt or stem the tide, but give these fiscally irresponsible keepers of the Public Trust, even more incentive to pad the budget.

One can only suggest those families that were planning a summer vacation close to Home, start seeking reservations at hotels in New Hampshire, one can enjoy the beach, shop unfettered by Massachusetts taxes, and take full advantage of the New Hampshire State motto: “Live Free or Die”. A fair warning, rooms are going fast, in seaside and mountain resorts, reservations should be made as quickly as possible.

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