NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 4, 2013

Governor skeptical of new tax plan

(Continued)

Malone, who said he struggled through dyslexia to achieve success with the help of teachers and others, lamented that education “wasn’t part of the dialogue” when DeLeo and Murray rolled out their transportation financing plan on Tuesday.

“I had two choices to make. I can sit and complain, or I can get fired up and keep talking about education. I chose the second one. So I’m back here today as calm as I was yesterday to see your good faces and ask you to join me,” Malone said.

The House on Wednesday took procedural votes to tee up for debate on Monday the tax plan and a related borrowing bill that would increase funding for Chapter 90 authorizing $300 million for local road and bridge repairs.

Patrick said an analysis by Transportation Secretary Richard Davey “raises some question” about whether the state can afford to boost Chapter 90 funding by $100 million with the level of new revenue proposed by legislative leaders.

In order to meet an April 1 deadline to inform municipalities of their expected level of funding, the Patrick administration sent out letters on Monday informing cities and towns how much money they would receive based on a $300 million program, but cautioned that it was contingent on sufficient revenues.

Cities and towns cannot sign contracts or agreements for construction until a Chapter 90 bond bill is approved and signed by Patrick. “Without that passage of either our tax reform proposal or additional revenue that is derived from options substantively comparable to that which we have proposed, investment in the Chapter 90 program will not be implemented,” the governor wrote in the letter also signed by Lt. Gov. Tim Murray.

Asked his opinion on the House and Senate coming together to collaborate on a tax plan before either branch debates its budget, Patrick said, “Politics.” When asked to elaborate, he said, “It’s part of the way the building works. People are constantly trying to position themselves and position me. That goes with it. I get it.”

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