, Newburyport, MA

April 15, 2014

Attack on progressive state income tax is flawed

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

In his April 8 “As I See It” column, Joe D’Amore opposes a progressive state income tax. His defense of no increase of state tax percentage for the wealthiest among us ignores the regressive nature of many of the taxes for the less affluent.

When discussing tax percentages consider this: The sales tax, gasoline tax, tolls, payroll tax and property tax take a much larger percentage of income from the lower wage earner than from a higher-salaried one, even if they were to pay the same amount. And to add to these regressive taxes, the cost of basic living expenses (food, medicine, clothing, etc.) represent a much higher percentage of income for the lowest-paid compared to the wealthier earners.

His attack on a progressive state income tax follows the usual right-wing attack on social programs for which our taxes are used. The irony in the attack is that the expenditure of our taxes greatly favors the business community, by building and maintaining our infrastructure, for healthcare, education, scientific research, etc.

One other thing — he claims we are “overburdened” by our taxes. Well, according to the Tax Foundation there are 32 states that have higher combined local and state taxes than Massachusetts.

Alfred Moskowitz