Saturday, May 11, 2013
Results from a recent executive survey ranked Massachusetts 47th for business.
A CEO magazine ranks Massachusetts as one of the worst states in the nation for business. Chief Executive Magazine ranked Massachusetts 47th based on a survey of corporate leaders. Survey respondents reported the Bay State is one of the worst for taxation and regulation. The state Republican Party is pointing to the survey and saying that Gov. Deval Patrick and the Democratic-led Legislature are bad for the economy and business. What do you think about Massachusetts’ business climate? Is this a good state in which to do business?
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
The House's transportation finance plan would mean new taxes — but not nearly as many new taxes as Gov. Patrick's $1.9 billion plan.
$500 million in new taxes. That's what the Massachusetts House of Representatives approved in a late-night vote Monday for its plan to make sorely needed improvements in Massachusetts roads, bridges and public transportation. As reported by the Associated Press, the House approved the bill 97-55 after more than 10 hours of debate. It includes a gas tax hike of 3 cents per gallon and increased tobacco taxes. But that House bill is scaled back significantly from Gov. Deval Patrick's plan to bring in $2 billion in new revenue to help fund transportation and education. Among other measures, Patrick's plan calls for a hike in the state income tax. So, how did the Newton legislators vote on the House bill? Both 11th Middlesex Rep. Kay Khan …
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Should the state forge ahead with Gov. Deval Patrick's bold plan to invest now? Or should it follow the Legislature leadership's proposal to address the bottom line before embarking on bigger initiatives?
Massachusetts legislators this week answered Gov. Deval Patrick's ambitious plan to raise $1.9 billion for transportation and education with a $500 million plan of their own, which says the governor is asking for too much, too soon as the Bay State shakes off the effects of the Great Recession. Who's right? Should the state forge ahead in a bold plan to invest now? Or should it cautiously address the bottom line before embarking on bigger initiatives? While Patrick's plan includes funding for both the state transportation system and increased education funding from preschool through college, House and Senate lawmakers eschew new revenue for education, focusing solely on closing the transportation budget gap over the next five years. The …
Saturday, March 2, 2013
The governor is optimistic but state legislators don't sound so sure. What do you think?
Gov. Deval Patrick is still bullish about his budget proposal, which will raise $1.9 billion in new revenue through an increase in the income tax, decrease in the sales tax, and various other changes to taxes, fees and deductions. But the men and women who have to pass the bill don't sound as eager to support a package many see as a politically damaging measure. The Boston Herald quotes several Beacon Hill legislators who sounded notes of caution and outright opposition to the budget. Those quoted cited the 1990 election losses in the wake of an income tax increase, pressure on small businesses and the higher price of gas as reasons they were skeptical. And the governor's new Web tools touting proposed transportation and education …
Monday, February 25, 2013
Do you wonder what the 'sequester' will mean for Massachusetts? A White House report gives examples of where federal aid would be cut.
Massachusetts would see more than $91 million in federal funds cut from a myriad of programs if Congress fails to act this week to avoid the sequester, the Obama Administration said Sunday. In a move designed to pressure Republicans into accepting new taxes on the wealthy as part of a deal to prevent the sequester from taking effect on Friday, the White House released reports that outlined how those cuts would impact individual states, The Huffington Post reported. Here are some examples of what's on the chopping block for us here in Massachusetts, according to the report: After the reports were released, congressional Republicans criticized the Obama administration for the PR move, The Huffington Post reported. “Rather than issuing last…
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Do you agree with the governor's decision or was it too drastic?
All non-emergency drivers were ordered off the roads on Friday when Gov. Deval Patrick issued an executive order banning travel during the blizzard. (Editor's note: The ban is lifted statewide as of 4 p.m. Saturday.) Patrick's executive order is being praised by some and bashed by others, reported The Boston Globe. While former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, who was in charge of the commonwealth during the Blizzard of ’78, praised the governor’s move, others called the order “tyrannical” and say the strict ban and hefty fines were too much, according to The Globe. Those caught violating the ban would face up to a year in jail and a $500 fine. What do you think? Do you agree with the governor’s decision or do you think the travel ban …
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Markey is in, Lynch set to make an announcement Thursday and Brown reportedly considering throwing his hat into the race following Tuesday’s nomination of John Kerry as Secretary of State.
With Tuesday's official nomination of U.S. Senator John Kerry to the post of Secretary of State, the field is opening up with folks vying for Kerry's seat in his unexpired term in the U.S. Senate. But before that even happens an interim senator has to be named. On Wednesday, Governor Deval Patrick announced his former chief of staff William “Mo” Cowan will be the interim senator and will serve until a new senator is elected in the June 25 special election. Patch reported in December that Cowan, a Stoughton resident, would be stepping down this month and returning to the private sector. Besides being Patrick’s former chief of staff, Cowan also served as chief legal counsel to Governor Patrick, having served in the Patrick-Murray …
Monday, January 28, 2013
Newton's Rep. Kay Khan, Rep. Ruth Balser and Sen. Cindy Creem react to Governor Patrick's $34.8 billion fiscal 2014 budget proposal, which includes significant changes to taxes.
With a deteriorating transportation system and a need for more investment in education, Newton legislators said last week Governor Deval Patrick's fiscal 2014 budget and new tax proposals are the beginning of a long, but necessary, discussion in Massachusetts. "[Patrick] has started an important conversation," Newton Rep. Ruth Balser told Newton Patch last week. Last week, Patrick unveiled his $34.8 billion fiscal 2014 budget, which included a comprehensive package and tax proposal aimed at investing in the state's infrastructure and education. The proposal asks for an increase in the income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent coupled with a reduction in the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent. It also doubles personal …
Saturday, January 26, 2013
The governor's budget proposal for fiscal 2014 would raise $1.9 billion in new revenues through a combination of tax increases and eliminating some tax breaks. Is the state's economy ready for this?
After years of treading water in the state budget, Gov. Deval Patrick has put forth an ambitious $34.8 billion proposal for the coming fiscal year that would make significant investments in education and transportation by raising $1.9 billion in revenue, through a combination of tax increases and eliminating some tax breaks. The question: Is the state's economy ready for this? To raise that funding, Patrick's proposal would increase the income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent, while doubling personal exemptions. It'd also lower the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent. Several tax breaks for both personal income and businesses would be eliminated. The gas tax would be indexed to inflation, ensuring gradual increases in what …
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The plan focuses on investments in transportation and education while calling for an income tax increase coupled with a lower sales tax.
In submitting his $34.8 billion budget to the Legislature Wednesday, Gov. Deval Patrick said the proposed income tax hike is part of a comprehensive package aimed at investing in the state's infrastructure and in driving growth. The proposal asks for an increase in the income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent coupled with a reduction in the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent. It also doubles personal exemptions. Despite the proposed income tax hike, Patrick says that low and modest-income workers will pay less in taxes under his proposal, and only the "more fortunate see a larger increase." "I do not submit this proposal lightly. I understand that many households in Massachusetts continue to struggle from the impact of the …