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Not time to raise taxes

Now is not the time to be raising taxes on working families and small businesses. Higher taxes are really a pay cut. Massachusetts has lost 300,000 jobs and 15,000 just in retail. We need to reduce the size of government and unleash the power of the free market to create jobs and encourage business growth.
When people have more of their own money to spend, it stimulates the economy. Businesses have more money to invest and create jobs. We need to lower taxes, cut wasteful spending, create jobs and get the economy growing.
But that is not how Gov. Deval Patrick sees it. Under his administration, there has been a steady stream of tax and fee increases. Increases in the gas tax, tobacco tax, alcohol tax, numerous fees and the sales tax. The state legislature has refused to listen to voters. The "temporary income tax increase" is still in place after 20 years.
State spending has increased 20 percent in the last four years. Boston spends taxpayer money like it is monopoly money. They forget "It's the peoples' money." Unfortunately, our state legislator votes with the house leadership in Boston over 98 percent of the time. The Democrat monopoly in the state house discourages discussion, dissent, common sense and good ideas. There has to be a better solution than just spending money.
I strongly oppose the recent increase in the sales tax. First, it has not produced the promised "increase" in state revenue. Second, it makes things more expensive and makes Massachusetts less competitive with the surrounding states. 40 percent of Massachusetts's cities and towns are within a 15-minute drive of the state border. We can either attract business and sales to the state, or continue to lose business and jobs.
How long will we sit back and watch this go on? I support lowering the sales tax and income tax to five percent. I intend to put a question on the ballot and let the voters decide.
Greg Neffinger
West Springfield


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