Wednesday, January 28, 2009

GOP leaders’ statement on Governor’s budget proposal

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. and Senate Minority Leader Richard R. Tisei today issued the following statement concerning the release of Governor Deval Patrick’s Fiscal Year 2010 budget proposal:

For the last two years, there has been a feeding frenzy of out-of-control spending on Beacon Hill. In order to feed this insatiable appetite for spending beyond our means, the Governor is now resorting to a series of tax increases and a substantial depletion of the state’s Rainy Day Fund to balance the budget, rather than addressing the real problem, which is unchecked spending.

The mantra of “reform before revenues” seems to have been lost in the Patrick Administration’s rush to “tax and spend” its way out of the current fiscal crisis. Not only does the Governor want to increase the meals tax and the hotel tax by 20 percent, but he is also promoting new taxes on everything from alcohol to snack foods, while adding $75 million in new Registry of Motor Vehicles fees. Where does it all end?

While the Governor continues to propose new tax efforts, his administration is simultaneously growing staff levels at an alarming rate. At this time next year, there is projected to be close to 2,000 new employees on the state payroll, far exceeding the historic employment levels.

Obviously, Governor Patrick faced a lot of tough decisions when he put his budget together. Like the rest of the nation, Massachusetts is experiencing one of the worst economic downturns ever. But that should not be used as an excuse to make Massachusetts even more unaffordable by taxing residents at every turn.

We are disappointed with the plan the Governor has put forward because it perpetuates our spending problem by drawing heavily on reserves and relying too much on new taxes and fees. These tax increases will have a chilling effect on our economic recovery, while giving those residents who are already struggling to make ends meet an additional financial burden to bear.