SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

April 5, 2013

Our view: On taxes, how soon they forget

We can’t help but notice how Beacon Hill lawmakers continue to forget how voters react to tax increases.

According to the State House News Service, Gov. Deval Patrick on Wednesday rejected the assertion that Republican Leah Cole’s win earlier this week in the Peabody state representative election was a sign that voters were wary of his $1.9 billion tax plan.

“Harkening back to 2009, the last time the Legislature voted for a major tax hike raising the sales tax to 6.25 percent, Patrick said not only did he win re-election in 2010, but, ‘Not one of the people who voted for that sales tax increase lost their seat,’” the News Service reported.

Not so fast.

The News Service story continued, “In the 2010 election, House Republicans actually picked up 16 seats, defeating 12 incumbent Democrats, including nine who voted for the sales tax increase. Reps. William Bowles, Geraldo Alicea, Steven D’Amico, James Fagan, Mark Falzone, Danielle Gregoire, Barbara L’Italien, Allen McCarthy and Matthew Patrick all supported the tax increase and lost.”

Voters do pay attention, even if their representatives do not.

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