MA FY 14 Budget Debate Underway

Lawmakers on the budget-writing ways and Means Committee kicked of a series of hearings on Governor Deval Patrick’s proposed tax and spending plan. It includes raising taxes and fees by more than a billion dollars next year, and close to 2 billion after that. Senate Committee chairman Stephen Brewer of Barre told administration officials residents are not feeling any less strapped than they were last year. Even legislators, he noted, took an eleven hundred dollar pay-cut.

“We’re not feeling it. We’re not feeling terribly the ability so much that everybody can dig even deeper, and quite honestly we hear from our constituents in that regard.”

Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor says the tax reforms would require highest income taxpayers to shoulder a larger share of the burden.

“We will be moving from a system If this tax reform proposal is enacted, where the highest income tax payers pay the lowest effective tax rate, when looking at sales and income tax, where the lowest income taxpayers pay the lowest effective tax rate.”

Shor also argued new investments in education and transportation would ensure a robust economy for the Bay State, and more jobs.

But several committee members echoed Brewer’s sentiment that the public was far from enthusiastic about the prospect of more state taxes.