The Massachusetts state Senate approved a 25 percent sales tax hike last night and removed the exemption on booze, bringing recession-ravaged Bay State residents one step closer to paying more at the cash register. (more)
Senators also passed a municipal package that would let cities and towns boost taxes on meals and lodging .
“We were very sensitive to that and tried to look at the least harmful place to go,” said Senate President Therese Murray, who argued the sales tax - boosted from 5 percent to 6.25 percent - has exemptions on necessities such as food and clothing.
The sales tax vote, approved by a veto-proof 29-to-10 margin, came after senators moved quickly to lift the sales tax exemption on alcohol in package stores, which they hope will bring in $80 million more a year for substance abuse treatment. Rigghhhhhttttt....
The speedy approval of the booze tax prompted a loud outcry from several Republicans who said they never got a chance to debate the question on the Senate floor.
“To put another tax on working people in the commonwealth of Massachusetts on top of everything else we’re doing today sends the wrong message,” said Sen. Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth).
The sales tax has already been approved in the House, but Gov. Deval Patrick has vowed to veto the increase if additional reforms aren’t passed.You know what I find very strange - these are the great great grandsons that started a war because they didn't want to pay British taxes.