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Mass. Senate Weighs Sales, Gas Taxes

This article is more than 10 years old.

On Beacon Hill, the Senate begins debate Tuesday on its proposed budget for the next fiscal year.

With state revenues declining, the Senate is expected to approve hiking the state sales tax and may lift the sales tax exemption on gasoline.

Senate Democrats met behind closed doors Monday working on a tax revenue proposal. It appears most support the 25 percent sales tax increase approved by the House and may also vote to raise about $400 million by applying the sales tax to gasoline.

Ways and Means Vice Chair Stephen Brewer did not confirm this plan, but said no hikes will solve the budget problem.

"No matter what we do, we will not get ourselves back to over 40 to 45 percent of what the cuts will be," Brewer says. "There is a whole realignment of how government is going to provide services, because this is an experience of 4 fiscal years."

Brewer expects the Senate will give cities and towns authority to raise local taxes to help restore cuts in state aid.

This program aired on May 19, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Martha Bebinger Twitter Reporter
Martha Bebinger covers health care and other general assignments for WBUR.

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