The health reform that Mitt Romney passed in 2006 in Massachusetts presaged President Obama’s, and its results are showing what we can expect nationwide. The latest warning comes in a huge new tax increase proposed by Governor Deval Patrick.
Last week the second-term Democrat followed his party’s recent habit and proposed an increase in the state’s single-rate income tax to 6.25% from 5.25%, the first in more than 20 years. The Bay State constitution requires a flat rate, so the Governor is sticking it to all taxpayers.
Mr. Patrick will try to add progressivity by raising the personal exemption, which taxpayer groups will challenge as unconstitutional. His plan would also eliminate 45 income-tax deductions, for such things as the capital-gains exemption on the sale of a home, adoption fees and college scholarships. This is the left’s idea for tax reform: raise rates and limit deductions—a revenue twofer.
To help this bad medicine go down, Mr. Patrick would lower the state sales tax to 4.5% from 6.25%. He says the sales levy “is widely regarded to be the most regressive tax that states impose,” which is funny given that Mr. Patrick is the same guy who raised the rate to 6.25% from 5% in 2009. Then he said raising the rate was essential to pay state bills and wouldn’t hurt the economy. Now he says it’s regressive and must be cut.
Business taxes would also rise under the Patrick revenue raid, and Bay State residents would pay higher gas taxes, turnpike tolls and car taxes. All told it’s a $1.9 billion a year net tax hike.
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