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Beacon Hill Begins Hunt For New Revenue

As revenue collections continue to fall short even of lowered expectations, lawmakers on Beacon Hill are discussing ways to find new sources of income.

Lawmakers discussed several proposals to plug the state's multi-billion dollar shortfall.

Among them: a plan to tax equipment belonging to telecommunications companies, and proposals to impose sales tax on alcohol, soda and candy.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino renewed his call for cities and towns to be allowed to hike hotel and meals taxes. He's been calling for it for years, but says this could be the year it gains traction.

"I think this is a crisis year," explains Menino. "And cities and towns in Massachusetts — I talk to many mayors during the course of the week — and they're putting their budgets together and it's not a pretty budget."

The mayor says raising the meals tax 2 percent would bring in more than $40 million for Boston annually and go a long way toward preventing layoffs and maintaining services.

This program aired on April 8, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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