Here Come The Maura Healey Tax Increases

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Remember when Maura Healey ran for governor on cutting taxes and delivered a pitiful tax cut bill that only upped the rental deduction by $50 per year?

Well, now she’s back with a tax increase proposal.

Healey and Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll recently announced a plan they call the Municipal Empowerment Act. That’s a fancy phrase for tax increases — because our governor can’t manage a budget.

Here are the highlights of the tax increase bill, according to a press release from Healey’s office:


  • Increasing the maximum local option lodging tax on hotel, motel and other rentals from 6 percent to 7 percent of the price of a room (6.5 percent to 7.5 percent for Boston) 
  • Increasing the maximum local option meals tax from .75 percent to 1 percent of the sales price of a meal at a restaurant or local store 
  • Adding a new 5 percent local option Motor Vehicle Excise surcharge, a fee charged by every city and town on vehicles registered in their communities based on the vehicle’s value 


So her proposal would make renting a motel or Airbnb, going out to eat, and owning a car more expensive. Healey is merely passing the burden onto municipalities because she won’t face as much blame if they increase taxes, as opposed to if she increases taxes. Her office estimates that this package could result in up to $155 million per year in tax increases.

It’s no surprise, since Lieutenant Governor Driscoll loved raising taxes during her lengthy tenure as mayor of Salem 

The administration pitches the tax increases as providing new revenue sources for communities.

“The Municipal Empowerment Act will expand on tools available to municipal leaders to generate revenue by allowing them to increase local option taxes on meals and lodging,” the press release said. “The bill would also create a new local Motor Vehicle Excise surcharge option – a provision that could benefit every city and town in the state.”

It’s worth noting that Healey is proposing these tax increases after, earlier in the month, she enacted $375 million in emergency budget cuts, including money that would have gone to municipalities (including many fire departments), because she doesn’t know how to manage a budget. Those cuts came after she approved an extra $250 million for the state’s shelter system to house migrants from all over the world, including in hotels.

Mind you, we’re the only state in the union that has a right-to-shelter law without a residency requirement, and Healey has done nothing about it, except have her administration advise the rest of us to house migrants in our homes. Yet, when I emailed her press secretary Karissa Hand last year asking how many Healey will be housing in her home, there was no response.

I don’t fault the migrants themselves for this situation, but what a perverse incentive structure we have in place. Not even Vermont or California does what we do here — and it’s costing us hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Massachusetts House minority leader, state Representative Brad Jones (R-North Reading), said he was shocked by Healey’s proposal and that it didn’t bode well for her promise to make Massachusetts more affordable.

“I got to be honest with you, I’m amazed the governor is saying we’re not proposing any tax increases, but apparently, we’re going to propose ways for everyone else to raise taxes,” Jones recently told State House News Service. “I guess I’m somewhat shocked they’re proposing that.” 

Don’t be shocked when these proposed tax increases become law. The Democrats on Beacon Hill have a never-ending thirst for your tax dollars, as do the Democrats on boards of selectmen and city councils across the state.

And when it does, let’s remember:  these tax increases are on Maura Healey. 


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