Gov. Deval Patrick said he expects to sign a bill creating a holiday from the state 6.25 percent sales tax the weekend of Aug. 10 and 11 if it reaches his desk this week, but Cape & Islands State Senator Dan Wolf said it makes little sense when policy leaders are trying to make the argument that the state needs more revenue for priorities like transportation.
Vote like a local State Senator not like a gubernatorial candidate
One local political observer said, "Not smart if you're running for Governor.
He's voting like a State Senator from Cape Cod.
"If it didn't fall on one of the Cape's peak tourist weekends, I'm sure he would support."
Both the House and Senate plan this week to vote on the sales tax holiday proposal, which has become a near annual tradition, decided on a year-to-year basis. Asked whether he would approve of and sign a sales tax holiday this summer, Patrick told reporters on Monday, “I expect to. It does have to be paid for. We had a good mechanism last year we worked out with the Legislature to do that, and I expect we’ll ask them to use that same mechanism again.”
Legislative leaders last summer stipulated that lost tax revenue from the holiday weekend, averaging about $20 million, would be replaced with one-time tax settlement funds in fiscal 2013.
Wolf will vote against the "Tax Holiday" bill
Sen. Dan Wolf, a Harwich Democrat and candidate for governor, said he would vote against the sales tax holiday if it there is a recorded vote in the Senate this week. “I don’t understand it when we’re short on revenue for so many things we’re looking to fund,” Wolf told the News Service. “I understand why people like it, but it’s baffling to me because while I understand people feel they would like to save money on any tax, it’s important to understand there are so many things we’re trying to accomplish under a challenging state budget where we’re short in so many areas.”
The House and Senate last week overrode Gov. Deval Patrick’s veto of a bill that increased taxes by $500 million to invest in infrastructure and public transit. Tax collections in fiscal 2012 surpassed estimates by more than $600 million.
After a steep rise, gas prices in Massachusetts leveled off over the past week. AAA of Southern New England reported Monday that a gallon over regular unleaded averaged $3.71, the same as last week. Prices are up 26 cents a gallon over the past month and are scheduled to rise 3 cents on Wednesday as part of the transportation financing law approved last week. Lawmakers also tied the gas tax to inflation, assuring automatic increases in the tax as prices on other goods rise.
The average price of gas in Massachusetts is currently 8 cents a gallon higher than the national average.
Will you even notice with gas prices fluctuating on a dime week by week? How about a buck extra for a pack of butts?
Tomorrow tax hikes will go into effect across Massachusetts, bringing the gas tax up to 24 cents per gallon and the cigarette tax up by $1 per pack, thanks to the House and Senate's vote to override Gov. Deval L. Patrick's veto of the transportation financing bill last week. - Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Read the previous political stories here.