Lyons, Finegold Sound Off on Patrick's Budget Proposal
Neither legislator is enthusiastic about plan to raise taxes and fees.
Gov. Deval Patrick submitted a $34.8 billion budget proposal to the legislature Wednesday, calling for investments in trasportation, education and infrastructure and tax hikes to pay for it.
And Republican state Rep. Jim Lyons is not happy with it.
"To raise taxes on the hard working families of Massachusetts, $2 billion, is absolutely the wrong direction for the governor to be going in," Lyons said. "The last thing we ought to be doing in this fragile economy is punishing small bsuiness and driving them to look elsewhere outside of the commonwealth."
Patrick's proposal would raise the income tax to 6.25 percent and reduce the sales tax to 4.5 percent.
While agreeing that the sales tax should be reduced, Lyons took issue with Patrick's calls for bigger investments in education and transportation.
"The problem I have is with the word 'investment,' because that's just another word for new taxes," Lyons said.
Even members of Patrick's own party have been luke-warm in their response to the governor's plans to generate increased revenue.
“Before any talk of increasing taxes, I want to see where existing revenue levels are coming in now. I will push for reforms before we talk about any new revenue sources,” said Finegold.
Lyons added that he agrees with some things the governor wants to do, including increasing local aid. But for spending on transportation and education, Lyons said spending should be cut from elsewhere in the budget.
"It's about resetting priorities on Beacon Hill," he said. "The governor doesn't want to have a serious discussion about the priorities that he has already laid out. We have to look for other ideas and other ways to do things."
(Tewksbury Patch Senior Editor Bill Gilman contributed to this article.)