NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

November 16, 2013

Taxing times on Beacon Hill

(Continued)

In honor of the new Senate chairman, Michael Rodrigues, D-Westport, I’d suggest a principle that legislators who vote for a tax increase in the sales tax on liquor should not get caught buying liquor just across the border in tax-free New Hampshire, as Rodrigues was in 2009.

That’s three Principles of Good Tax Policy. While we wait to see the commission recommendations, I’ll just toss off a few more from the top of my head — recognizing that I haven’t sat through commission testimonies lately.

4. All taxes hurt someone and do some damage to the economy. This is why it’s better not to over-utilize any one tax, to have a mix. However, this mix shouldn’t add up to the fourth-highest tax burden in the nation.

5. In the service of avoiding an even-higher tax burden, there should not be a graduated income tax, which has less to do with making the rich pay a larger percentage of their income than with letting politicians pick us all off, one tax bracket at a time, spiraling upward year after year.

6. Don’t waste the money collected in taxes.

To be continued, as the commission works toward its official recommendation for Tax Fairness, due March 1, 2014.

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Barbara Anderson of Marblehead is president of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

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