Is [Deval] Patrick a tax-and-spend liberal? That’s not my impression. But the notion that he and the Democratic-controlled Legislature might go on a spending spree and then have to find a way to pay for it is not unreasonable.
You [Patrick] need to make it clear that you won’t raise taxes. You need to take the pledge.
His [Patrick’s] repeated assertion that he has “no plan to raise taxes” is a classic example of keeping your options open.
Patrick attributes the hedging [on property-tax relief and 1,000 new police officers] to tighter than expected budget considerations. However, the fiscal writing was on the wall, not to mention the front page of this newspaper, long before he won election last November.
“The budget right now is very precariously balanced,” Noah Berger, executive director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a liberal think tank, warned in an article published on Sept. 16. “Any proposal to cut taxes or increase spending should acknowledge that they’ll likely require other tradeoffs.”
Two senior Patrick officials said that the administration is looking seriously at a wide range of corporate tax changes to help close what is now projected to be a $1.3 billion budget gap for the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1. One of the officials said that the tax changes could raise between $350 million and $400 million annually.
Governor Deval Patrick’s plan to help cities and towns ran into immediate resistance in the Legislature yesterday, with the House speaker characterizing portions of it as “absolutely” tantamount to raising taxes and cautioning that it would not benefit all communities equally.
It’s difficult to grasp how new local taxes could possibly translate into local tax relief. The most we can say about Gov. Deval Patrick’s package of municipal reforms released yesterday is that we won’t be shocked when property taxes don’t exactly plummet next year.
Kerry Healey must be wishing she’d actually run for governor instead of doing whatever the heck it was she thought she was doing last fall.