Trouble in Paradise on “Bacon” Hill

There is trouble in paradise on Bacon Hill. Or are we getting played again?

Unlike Gov. Deval Patrick who promised property tax cuts and then never did anything to provide relief, Gov. Maura Healey has at least filed a token tax relief package.

As you may recall, our former attorney general aired campaign commercials last summer in response to GOP candidate Chris Doughty’s radio and television ads promising to make Massachusetts affordable.  To everyone’s disbelief, Healey promised tax cuts in those ads. 

This week her tax-cutting package got a hearing from the Revenue Committee and a Democrat- on-Democrat brawl ensued. Or was it just political theater? 

Healey’s plan would create a new $600-per-dependent tax credit for parents in addition to providing rent relief. It would also increase the estate tax threshold to $3 million and cut the short-term capital gains tax rate to five percent.

The estimated costs would be $1 billion, which is the same amount the so-called millionaire’s tax is supposed to raise. That’s a nightmare for Bacon Hill, because they are addicted to our tax dollars! They always want more. They’re taxaholics. One tax is too many, a thousand are not enough.

During the hearing, Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven of Somerville actually accused Healey of not providing an “equitable” plan. That’s a real below-the-belt slam in Democrat circles. Uyterhoeven, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, claimed that too much would be going to the “wealthy.” In other words, people who pay taxes should not get a break and that there are not enough giveaways to the non-working classes, i.e., Democrats, in Healey’s plan. 

Senator Becca Rausch of Needham, who was the only Democrat Healey did not endorse for re-election, also opposed the plan, as did Rise Up Massachusetts, which promoted the narrowly-passed millionaire’s tax.

However, the biggest non-supporter is Speaker Ron Mariano. He is looking at “alternatives.” Those are fighting words from the Speaker. So instead of the Democrats giving their newly elected progressive Governor a victory, they are going to keep our tax dollars even if they have to throw her under the bus within the first 100 days of her administration. And all this at a time when tax revenue collections are still $500 million above projections.

But is this Bacon Hill fight real?  Or is it cover?

Am I being cynical? No. I know how deep their tax dollar addiction runs. 

At best, I believe that the Healey tax cut package is a once-in-an-administration anomaly. We won’t see another tax relief package until a Republican is elected to the Corner Office. Most likely this Democrat- on-Democrat fighting is just theater.

Healey’s package won’t pass, the legislature takes the blame, and the hackerama gets more of our tax dollars. If she doesn’t lobby legislators individually to get this passed, we will all know that this was just a dog-and-pony CYA show. 

Join Howie's Mailing List!

You have successfully subscribed!