Governor Looks At Tax Solutions For Struggling Small Towns

<p>Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is pushing a plan to allow struggling communities to bring in more taxes from local businesses and to lower the amount of property taxes owners have to pay.</p>
May 10, 2007, 12pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"Patrick is pushing legislation to allow communities to collect a tax of up to 2 percent on hotel and restaurant tabs, require some local pension funds to join the State Retirement Board, allow communities to buy health insurance through the state's Group Insurance Commission, and eliminate a property tax exemption for telecommunications firms. Communities levying the hotel and meals tax would be required to dedicate at least a quarter of the revenue to reducing residential tax bills."

"State Representative Pam Richardson, Democrat of Framingham, said a meals tax would help her town, which has dozens of restaurants lining Route 9. But she said the initiative could face a tough battle on Beacon Hill."

"Patrick said that he is launching the statewide push because he knows passage of the initiative is not a sure thing."

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Published on Thursday, May 10, 2007 in The Boston Globe
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