Untruths in advertising in Taxachusetts

Most normal people think that a tax expenditure is something our state spends actual tax dollars on. That’s not the common-sense definition in Massachusetts.

Taxachusetts never sleeps.

While the pandemic was shutting down the Commonwealth, putting people out of work, and destroying businesses, the Massachusetts Tax Expenditure Review Commission (TERC) was very busy. They have just released a 358-page “Biennial Report” of the Tax Expenditures.

Brace for impact!

Most normal people think that a tax expenditure is something our state spends actual tax dollars on such as paving a road or re-numbering all our highway exits or handing out still more EBT cards to illegals. That’s not the common-sense definition in Massachusetts.

According to Bacon Hill, a tax-expenditure is a tax break or something that the Commonwealth doesn’t tax. The hacks think not charging a sales tax on food and clothing is an expenditure on the state’s behalf.  Hence, your paycheck is not really your own. It is their money and they let you keep some. I’m not joking.

It’s like that old line that was attributed to the Mob: “What’s ours is ours and what’s yours is ours!”

Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, said, “Massachusetts spends billions of dollars each year in tax expenditures without the same scrutiny of a typical budget process. This Commission is a critical part of adding transparency and accountability while ensuring hard-earned tax dollars are spent wisely.”

This Commission had nothing to do with transparency or frugality. It is all about taxing us more. Clearly, honesty is not his best policy. 

One of the tax-expenditures this group of geniuses investigated is a sales tax on gasoline. Didn’t Martha Coakley tell them it is already taxed?! 

Here is what they concluded regarding a sales tax on gas:

“The TERC strongly agrees that this is a relevant tax expenditure (not collecting a sales tax) that justifies its fiscal cost, and that it is claimed by a broad group that includes lower-income taxpayers. The TERC notes that it is REASONABLE to exempt from the sales tax an item that is already subject to an excise tax.” 

Reasonable to exempt? How about crazy to even think about double taxing gas?

They were not so reasonable in their conclusion on taxing alcohol.

“While the Motor Fuels tax seems well thought out, the Alcohol tax seems a historical accident, with tax amounts unrelated to current consumption patterns.  As a result, while the structural tax expenditure does avoid double taxation and does benefit its intended beneficiaries, we feel strongly that it does not justify the cost of this exemption.”

I listened to their actual discussion on the gas and alcohol taxes.  When it comes to the gas, excise taxes give them more of our money.  On the other hand, alcohol excise taxes shortchange them compared to a sales tax. So we will be paying more in the near future. The only question is whether they will double tax alcohol again or just require a sales tax on our beer.

Didn’t we go through this charade not so long ago? The hacks slapped a sales tax on alcohol – in other words, they taxed the excise tax you were already paying on a jug. Days later a powerful Democrat state legislator (Michael Rodrigues of Westport) was photographed in the parking lot of a state liquor store in New Hampshire loading cases of lower-priced, untaxed booze into his car (with the special legislative vanity plates).

Once again, do as I say, not as I do.

(Did I mention that RINO Gov. Charlie Parker, now dubbed “Gov. Bacon” by Sen. Markey, sometimes attends Rodrigues’ annual time – at a Bristol County winery, ironically enough.)

In a referendum, the voters overwhelmingly repealed that tax on a tax. Now, are we going to have to do it all over again because the hacks didn’t get the message the first time?

The bad news is not done. This Commission is going to meet again in 2023 to review more tax expenditures. Bacon Hill will not be happy until we sign over our entire paycheck to them. 

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