Senate Budget Chief Favors Mass. Sales Tax Hike

Senate budget writers Wednesday unveiled their bare-bones spending plan for the coming fiscal year.

It's based on $1.5 billion less in estimated revenue than the House plan, and unlike the House budget it does not call for a tax increase.

The chief Senate budget writer, Sen. Steven Panagiotakos, says when it comes to taxes, he prefers the House proposal of a 25 percent hike in the state sales tax to targeted taxes--including a gas tax increase--proposed by Gov. Deval Patrick.

"In comparison to doing the gas tax, the sugar tax, the soda tax, the hotel tax, the meals tax--I would rather do the sales tax than all of those other taxes--especially the gas tax," Panagiotakos said.

The Senate plan calls for deep cuts, including a 30 percent reduction in local aid to cities and towns.

This program aired on May 13, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.


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