Monday, April 9, 2012

" The Unions say you're not paying enough taxes.."

The Unions say you're not paying enough taxes as they want more revenue for their union members. What world are these morons living in that they feel that they can solve our problems by grabbing more money from the taxpayers?

Cut spending and you'll see there is plenty of $$$ already. It is wasteful spending and allowing state & local employees to have huge wage increases that is a huge part of the problems faced by our state & local governments.

Look carefully when it comes time to vote and if a candidate is inline with these fools, vote them out. An injection of reality is needed and that had to start with putting the brakes on wasteful spending by those who benefit from raising taxes.

Unions push for state income tax hike
Labor and advocacy groups press for increasing state income tax to raise $1.37 billion.

By David Riley
Posted Apr 09, 2012

BOSTON — Here’s a question for taxpayers as the deadline to file income taxes approaches quickly: Do you think Uncle Sam and Beacon Hill took too much, too little or just the right-sized bite out of your paychecks this year?

A coalition of labor unions and advocacy groups believes Massachusetts falls in the “too little” camp, at least for upper-income brackets.

The Campaign for Our Communities calls for raising the state income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 5.95 percent. The proposal also would tax investment income at 8.95 percent, up from 5.3 percent for most investments, but down from 12 percent for short-term capital gains.

Supporters said legislation they back also would hike exemptions to protect low- and middle-income taxpayers, while shielding seniors and the disabled from the higher investment rate.

Cuts to crucial services and annual struggles to balance state and local finances spurred the campaign, predating the recent recession, backers said. They pointed to cuts to mental health and senior programs, the MBTA’s looming budget gap and the proposed closing of Taunton State Hospital, among other things.

“We just do not have a revenue system that is bringing in enough revenue,” said Andi Mullin, director of Campaign for Our Communities. “That is true when the economy is good, and it’s particularly true when the economy is bad.”

Supporters said the changes would raise an additional $1.37 billion in tax revenue.

Cuts also have stretched town, city and school budgets thin, supporters said. Government cannot maintain quality public services while addressing budget gaps through cuts alone, they argued.

“It’s all about getting more money into our communities to fund what we view as essential public services,” said Jim Durkin, spokesman for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 93, a union that has endorsed the campaign.

But House Minority Leader Bradley Jones, R-North Reading, said taxes are too high already.

Jones sponsored legislation this year to cut the state’s income tax rate to 5 percent by 2013. He said the measure would fulfill a successful 2000 ballot question calling for the state to cut the income tax from 5.95 percent to 5 percent over three years.

The Legislature in 2002 froze the rate at 5.3 percent and set targets for revenue growth under which the rate could drop further. The rate dipped to 5.25 percent this year.

Jones has sponsored similar bills in the past.

“I’ve sponsored it simply because I think we have an obligation to fulfill what the voters said they wanted to do,” he said

Neither effort is likely to advance this year. The Joint Committee on Revenue sent Jones’ bill to study, a move that usually dooms legislation for the rest of the session.

The Campaign for Our Communities counts local teachers unions among its supporters, including those in Arlington, Bedford, Boston, Cambridge, Dedham, Fall River and Weymouth.

Paul Toner, president of the Mass. Teachers Association, said budget crunches have led to rising class sizes in some districts and cuts to arts, technology and student support programs. More schools have imposed fees to fund busing and other programs, “increasingly putting the burden on families,” Toner said.

The Massachusetts Senior Action Council, which also backs the campaign, views raising the income tax rates as a way to ensure funding for senior services without competing against other legitimate interests, Executive Director Carolyn Villers said.

“Rather than a bigger piece of the pie,” she said, “we need a bigger pie.”

Jones said he fundamentally disagrees. Hiking the income tax would be a “total, 180-degree about-face” from legislative leaders’ calls to avoid raising taxes, he said.

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