Broadside: The GOP's State of the State

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January 18, 2013, 5:06 pm
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(NECN) - Mass. House Minority Leader Brad Jones has a lot to say about the political fate of some controversial tax plans on Beacon Hill.

Earlier this week, Mass. Governor Deval Patrick proposed an income tax hike and sales tax cut during his State of the Commonwealth address, and expanded the plan with an inflation-adjusted gas tax proposal Friday.

The Governor proposed to raise the Bay State's income tax by 1 percent to 6.25 percent, and to decrease the state's sales tax to 4.5 percent. Friday's proposed gas tax would break decades of stalemate over raising gas taxes, and what's more, the inflation-adjustment would also apply to MBTA fares and highway tolls, so those would go up automatically without a political debate, just like the gas tax.

Jones, a Republican representing North Reading, disagrees with Governor Patrick's plan based on the spending, which he says will just lead to "unkept promises" with no way to pay for it.

"I think you should present a plan that separates out the 'need to do' versus the 'want to do' and the wish list," Jones said.

But Rep. Jones isn't completely against everything in the proposal.

"I think he has some things in there that merit some consideration," he said. "One, is that I think we talked about inventorying all the assets that we have, and which ones can be disposed of. So along the Turnpike, there are parcels of land that the Turnpike bought years ago that might have been 40 acres, and we needed two, and they've sat on 38 acres for years."

Jones also discussed Friday's news of Lt. Governor Tim Murray's announcement he won't be in the 2014 gubernatorial race.

"I think he did a political calculation - tough road forward," he said. "Obviously he had the driving incident, he had the Chelsea Housing Authority, some think that the hiring of the highway person traces back to his office ... I think when you couple all of those and the $2 billion tax increase his friend the Governor just dumped in his lap, I think he probably figured he had too many anchors to carry forward."

Watch the attached video for more.

Tags: Republican, Deval Patrick, Brad Jones, income tax, inflation adjustment gas tax, MBTA fares, highway tolls, MA income tax, MA sales tax, Republican MA House minority leader
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