House Speaker, Gov. Exchange Thoughts on Potential Tax Hike

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    NEWSLETTERS

    DeLeo voices concerns over Patrick's proposed income tax increase

    (NECN: Alison King) - Speaking to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, House Speaker Robert Deleo was candid about his concerns over Governor Deval Patrick's state budget request, which calls for a tax increase of almost two billion dollars to pay for transportation and education.

    "What I don't agree with is the amount of money raised through taxation and the scope - some of the deductions that he's eliminating with that plan," said DeLeo.

    The Governor's proposal would raise the state income tax a point to 6.25 percent while reducing the sales tax by almost two points to 4.5% and he would increase exemptions.

    But Deleo said families and businesses shouldn't have to suffer the "collateral damage" that would follow.

    Does Gov. Patrick agree that there would be collateral damage?

    "No."  Patrick added, "We have a proposal which is - which actually cuts taxes for people who are making less than 40-thousand dollars and is unchanged for people who are making between 40 and 60 thousand dollars or thereabout."

    The Governor said taxes would go up only for those in the higher income brackets, who are more fortunate and able to pay.

    Michael Widmer of the Mass. Taxpayers Foundation says the Governor's tax propsal is too ambitious.

    "These are difficult economic times so the timing I think is just not right for something that sweeping," Widmer said.

    Deleo says -if- a new revenue package is passed, it should be far more narrow in scope and of a significantly smaller size. But he added that he believes that he and the Governor will arrive at mutually agreeable place.

    "We're putting the emphasis on the same subject matter - transportation and education," said DeLeo. "I just feel that maybe we might have to go in a different direction or maybe a slower pace in some of those areas."

    Calling the negotiations a process, Patrick said he's open to other revenue raisers as long as enough is raised to have a 21st century transportation and education system.