SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

December 5, 2012

Anderson: What about the Bay State's fiscal cliff?

(Continued)

According to the State House News Service, “employers would pay to state government a percentage of the salary of workers earning more than the threshold, with the money dedicated to transportation financing. A tax of three-quarters of 1 percent would generate more than $190 million annually.”

Inevitably, the pay level would decrease and the tax percent would increase, until not just “the rich” would pay this. Fortunately, the Massachusetts Constitution does not allow a graduated income tax: All earnings must be taxed at the same flat rate, and my educated guess is the courts wouldn’t be fooled by this indirect method of graduation.

Advocates may have a fallback plan though: taxing us all by miles driven. Let’s take a moment to wonder why the 1990 gas tax increase didn’t maintain the roads and bridges as promised, why a state with the fourth-largest per-capita tax burden and the highest per-capita debt in the nation can’t already afford a well-run transportation system.

Don’t tell me about the extraordinary cost of the Big Dig. I was around when the Dukakis administration told us it would cost less than $3 billion, just to get people to sign on.

Not to seem hostile to all new taxes, though: Here’s one I like! Rep. Dan Winslow, R-Norfolk, is filing a bill for a 25 percent tax on the money left over in politicians’ campaign funds after an election. Right now, it’s not considered taxable income as they carry it forward to their next campaign.

“There’s more than $20 million sitting in war chests,” Winslow told me this week. Simple math: $5 million from politicians instead of more taxes from us. An added benefit is that it removes some of the advantage incumbents have over citizens who challenge them.

Other legislators are working on saving money from expenditures. Fortunately, Rep. Jim Lyons, R-Andover, wasn’t one of the excellent Republican candidates defeated in November; he’s renewed his fight to prevent state benefits being paid to illegal immigrants.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion

AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate
Helium