Monday, May 04, 2009

Senate Expects Tax Haul To Fall By $1 Billion More

From the Associated

An already bad Massachusetts budget forecast is getting even worse.

Senate Ways and Means Chairman Steven Panagiotakos (pan-ah-gee-oh-TAH'-kos) says he expects tax collections to be $18.5 billion next year - $1 billion less than previous estimates.

The Lowell Democrat says that will require massive program cuts and employee layoffs. He's called a hearing with economists Tuesday to discuss the situation. The Senate unveils its 2010 budget plan later this month.

Meanwhile, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts is airing radio ads complaining about the 25-percent sales tax increase approved by the House to offset sagging tax collections.

Retailers fear hiking the tax from 5 percent to 6.25 percent will send customers to New Hampshire.

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