Massachusetts actually making tax code more progressive

Some interesting news from Boston about the state’s new budget:

Governor Deval Patrick unveiled a nearly $35 billion dollar state budget proposal for fiscal year 2014. It includes more than one billion dollars in new revenue based on tax reforms.  Most notably, it raises the income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent, doubles personal exemptions and lowers the state sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent.

In light of recent budgets coming out of Republican states like Louisiana that have been fucking the poor to line the pockets of the rich, it’s nice to see a move in the opposite direction.

Some other changes in the new budget:

The governor’s budget also proposes to increase the cigarette tax from one dollar to $3.51 a pack, remove tax breaks on candy and soda, and cap the film tax credit at $40 million dollars per fiscal year.

I would be very surprised if that tax increase doesn’t have a measurable impact on the number of people who smoke in Massachusetts. I can’t imagine how much it must cost to be addicted to the point where you’re smoking multiple packs each day. Also, I guess it’s too late to complain about it, but why did candy and soda have tax breaks in the first place?

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