The Associated Press

Mass. Senate Nixes Tax-Cutting Amendments

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Senate has rejected three Republican-backed amendments that would have lowered taxes during the first day of their state budget debate.

Republicans had proposed reducing the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 5 percent and cutting the state income tax — currently 5.2 percent — also to 5 percent.

The Democratic-led chamber voted down both proposals.

A third GOP-sponsored amendment targeted the state’s gas tax and would have eliminated a law enacted last year that links automatic increases in the gas tax to future increases in the state’s rate of inflation.

Senators also voted down that proposed amendment.

The question of whether to eliminate the so-called indexing of future gas tax increases to inflation could go before Massachusetts voters in November in the form of a ballot question.

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