DeLeo Rejects Fees In Patrick's Budget

By Sarah Birnbaum

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Feb. 4, 2011

BOSTON — Massachusetts House Speaker Robert Deleo says he will keep new fees and taxes out of the House budget, which is due in April.  That means he is rejecting some of the proposals included in Governor Deval Patrick’s spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year. 
 
Although Patrick vowed not to raise taxes, his budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes new fees. He is seeking a $2.50 surcharge on auto insurance policies to help fund a permanent state police cadet class.  He also wants to expand the state’s so-called “bottle bill” to add a 5-cent deposit to the cost of water, tea and juice bottles. 

Another one of Patrick's proposals would allow cities and towns to impose property taxes on telephone poles and wires.  Right now, telecom equipment is exempt from property taxes.  Patrick estimates that lifting the long-held ban would create millions of dollars in extra revenue for cities and towns. 
 
But these proposals aren’t sitting well with House Speaker Robert DeLeo.  Earlier this week, he vowed to eliminate them from the budget.
 
“As far as the house is concerned, the budget that will come out will not have any new taxes, no additional fees, or any new gimmicks in terms of raising additional revenue,” DeLeo said.
 
Meanwhile, Senate President Therese Murray is withholding comment. 
 
The House is currently reviewing Patrick’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year.  Its revisions are due in April.  After that, the budget goes to the Senate, which will release its version in May.

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