Legislators also showed little concern for the state’s anemic job market. The application of the sales tax to computer and software services will cost the state’s employers an additional $500 million per year, according to estimates from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. Massachusetts is a leader in computer services; taxing a growth industry undermines the state’s competitive advantages. The tax will cut into profits in virtually every industry in the state, as those businesses are the primary customers for computer and software services. It is inevitable that jobs will be lost.
While propping up the moribund MBTA amounts to throwing good money after bad, it is clear to anyone who drives that the state’s roads and highways are in need of repair. But rather than prudently planning for and managing these repairs responsibly, legislators simply fell back on an old habit — another money grab from the taxpayers.
House Minority Leader Bradley Jones, R-North Reading, argued that the tax hike was not necessary as state tax collection for the last fiscal year exceeded estimates by more than $600 million. His argument fell on deaf ears.
Legislators could have had their transportation funds and lived within the state’s means, just as individual families must do. Instead, they chose to conduct another raid on the wallets of the state’s unfortunate residents.
Perhaps some day, voters will understand the need to maintain a balance among the two parties on Beacon Hill. Until then, they can expect the Democratic-dominated Legislature to pick their pockets with impunity.