Deval Patrick on Tax Reform



Reduce sales tax; and raise income tax

I propose to restructure our tax system by placing a greater reliance on the income tax and less reliance on the sales tax. In my budget, I will propose that we cut the sales tax from the current rate of 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent and dedicate all the proceeds to a public works fund. That fund will support the transportation plan I have laid out--as well as the school building fund and other public infrastructure. Under my plan, sales tax proceeds would be off limits for any other purpose.

To support our education initiatives, my budget will propose that we increase the income tax by 1 percentage point--to 6.25 percent. To make that increase fair to all according to their ability to pay, I will propose that we double the personal exemptions for every taxpayer and eliminate a number of itemized deductions. Making those changes gives us a tax code that is simpler and fairer. These changes our sales, income and business taxes will be competitive with other states in the region.

Source: 2013 State of the State address to Commonwealth Legislature , Jan 16, 2013

Let municipalities raise property, meals, and lodging taxes

While we may not be able to fund local aid at current levels, we can provide tools to help local governments better manage through these difficult times.

In that spirit, we will again propose a series of measures that give cities and towns greater authority over local decisions. That includes raising new revenue through a modest meals and lodging tax, eliminating the outdated exemption the phone company enjoys from paying the same local property taxes everyone else has to pay, and encouraging as much regionalization of local services as practical. If we cannot provide direct aid, let's at least untie the hands of local communities to capture the savings and raise the revenue within their reach. Let's enact a municipal reform package this spring.

Source: 2009 State of the State speech to Massachusetts Legislature , Jan 1, 2009

Cut property tax; expand circuit breaker & senior exemption

Q: You oppose rolling back the state income tax from 5.3% to 5% and one of your opponents, Lt. Gov. Healey, says you will be the biggest tax and spender since Mike Dukakis.

PATRICK: Well, no is the answer to that. I think itís a mistake to roll the income tax back to 5% right now. I think we can do it but we have to grow the economy so that we can afford to do it. I think its interesting to be lectured on taxes by the Lt. Gov., whose administration is responsible for $985 million of new taxes and fees. Thatís whatís come from this administration. What I want to do is cut the property tax. I want to expand the senior exemption for property taxes and the circuit breaker. I want to extend them to low and moderate income home owners. I want to eliminate all those nuisance fees for playing on a high school team or parking in the school parking lot, and I want to restore local aid so we can get property taxes down and keep them down.

Source: 2006 MA Gubernatorial debate on Fox News with Chris Wallace , Sep 25, 2006

Tax rollback is shell game, shifting burden to property tax

Q: What would an income tax rollback do to property taxes?

HEALEY: By rolling back the income tax weíll put more money into working peoplesí pockets, and I have a plan to take pressure off our local taxes as well by reforming our pension system, and allowing our cities and towns to invest their pensions with our state treasurerís office. That will take literally hundreds of millions of dollars that is wasted right now and put it back onto the plate of our cities and towns and that will relieve the pressure on local taxes.

PATRICK: Weíve been playing the fiscal shell game with this administration. This is an administration that talks about rolling the income tax back and is responsible at the same time for proposing $985 million in new taxes and increased fees. $1.8 billion in increases in property taxes. Thatís all about shifting the burden. Letís be clear and candid with each other. People are ready for the truth. We can afford a 5% income rate when the economy has expanded to enable it.

Source: 2006 MA Gubernatorial debate on Fox News with Chris Wallace , Sep 25, 2006

Cut the property tax, not the income tax

REILLY: A big issue in this campaign is rolling back taxes. The people have voted on it [and we donít have] the right to ignore the will and the mandate of the people. Iím the only Democrat in this race who is willing to stand up and fight for the people.

PATRICK: Small wonder people say, give me my money back. But the tax to cut, is the property tax. Thatís the one squeezing people, and the only way to do that is to that is to restore state aid to cities and towns. And the only way to do that is to postpone the income tax and invest in ourselves.

REILLY: No one has a right on taxes to substitute your judgment for the will of the voters.

GABRIELI: I disagree with Deval [as saying] ďhereís what you canít do.Ē Iíve put forward a can-do plan: We can cut the income tax by taking 40% of income growth [towards tax cuts], and leave 40% in there for continuing local aid and investments. But I can hold down the property taxes just as well. I donít think we should ignore the voters.

Source: MA gubernatorial debate on CBS4 news [Xref Reilly] , Sep 13, 2006

Restore local aid so towns can cut property taxes

Patrick opposes a cut in the income tax rates to 5 percent, something the other candidates at least give lip service to. ďThe fact is that rolling back the income tax from 5.3 to 5 percent is fiscally irresponsible. We canít afford it,Ē he says. ďThe tax to cut is the property tax. And we canít cut the property tax if we donít restore local aid and we canít restore local aid if we roll back the income tax.Ē
Source: Boston Globe Issue Outlines: Taxes , Jun 3, 2006

Supports local meals tax and local-option taxes

Deval Patrick is the only candidate to endorse the idea of allowing Boston and other municipalities to impose a meals tax, or other local-option tax, saying they would help towns manage their budgets without having to raise local property taxes.
Source: Boston Globe Issue Outlines: Taxes , Jun 3, 2006

Opposes tax rollback because it would raise property taxes

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Deval Patrick, who is vying for the Democratic nomination against Gabrieli and Reilly, was the only one of the three who fully opposed the tax rollback from 5.3% to 5.0%, saying cutting the income tax would lead to higher property taxes.
Source: Dave Wedge, Boston Herald, ďGovernorís debateĒ , May 25, 2006

Allow cities to raise local meals tax-trust local officials

Former Assistant US Attorney General Deval L. Patrick said yesterday he would support giving Massachusetts cities and towns the right to raise local meals taxes, while his rival for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly, flatly ruled out any such increase.

The sharp disagreement occurred during a face-to-face meeting between the two men before a key constituency--local officials. ĎíI am not in favor of any additional tax burdens on the people of Massachusetts,ď Reilly told the local officials.

But Patrick said he would support increases on what are known as local-option taxes, saying they would help cities and towns manage their budgets without having to raise local property taxes. ĎíIím interested in trusting you -- the local officials,ď Patrick said. ĎíI know whatís happening in your communities.Ē

Source: Michael Levenson, Boston Globe, p. A1 , Jan 15, 2006

$12B in federal economic stimulus as state block grants.

Patrick signed $12B in federal economic stimulus as state block grants

The nation's governors urge you to include state countercyclical funding as part of your legislation to stimulate the economy. This would include $6 billion in Medicaid assistance by freezing scheduled federal FMAP reductions and increasing all states' F Congress approved $20 billion in assistance to states, including $10 billion in Medicaid and $10 billion in block grants. The governors' current stimulus proposal is essentially the same, with the exception that it is a total of $12 billion as opposed to $20 billion. This proposal can be enacted quickly, as there is precedent and it is timely, temporary and targeted.

Additionally, governors appreciate federal efforts to use tax policy to get additional money into the hands of consumers and businesses to stimulate the economy. When considering tax changes to spur economic growth, governors urge Congress and the Administration to follow the maxim of "Do no harm" by avoiding changes at the federal level that would diminish state tax revenues or force state actions that would undermine the effectiveness of federal efforts.

We look forward to working with you to enact the appropriate stimulus program.

Source: Letter from 37 governors to House & Senate Leadership NGA-0801TX on Jan 28, 2008

Other governors on Tax Reform: Deval Patrick on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Bill Weld
Bob Massie
Charlie Baker
Dan Wolf
Don Berwick
Jay Gonzalez
Jesse Gordon
Karyn Polito
Lawrence Lessig
Martha Coakley
Marty Walsh
Richard Tisei
Seth Moulton
Setti Warren
Steve Grossman
Tom Menino
Warren Tolman
MA Senatorial:
Allen Waters
Beth Lindstrom
Elizabeth Warren
Geoff Diehl
Heidi Wellman
Joe Kennedy III
John Kingston
Shannon Liss-Riordan
Shiva Ayyadurai

Gubernatorial Debates 2019:
Bevin(R) vs.Goforth(R,lost primary) vs.Adkins(D,lost primary) vs.Beshear(D) vs.Edelen(D,lost primary)
Edwards(D) vs.Rispone(R) vs.Abraham(R) vs.Kennedy(R,declined)
Bryant(R,retiring) vs.Foster(R) vs.Hood(D) vs.Reeves(R) vs.Waller(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2021:
Murphy(D) vs.Ciattarelli(R)
Northam(D,term-limited) vs.Herring(D)

Gubernatorial Debates 2020:
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PR: Rossello(D) vs.Wanda Vazquez Garced(D)
UT: Herbert(retiring) vs.Huntsman(R) vs.Cox(R) vs.Jeff Burningham(R)
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Page last updated: Nov 14, 2019