State Senate candidate Craig Spadafora, who has pledged to oppose any new tax increases if elected in November, today criticized State Representative Katherine Clark for voting to raise taxes eight times since taking office in 2008.
Citing the state’s 8.8 percent unemployment rate, Spadafora said the series of tax increases Clark has supported — including raising the sales tax by 25 percent last year — have made Massachusetts less competitive while increasing the burden on taxpayers and hurting small businesses.
“During one of the worst economic recessions since the Great Depression, Representative Clark has chosen to raise taxes by more than $1 billion rather than supporting the fundamental reforms needed to rein in state spending and create a more favorable business climate,” said Spadafora. “She tries to portray herself as a friend of small businesses, but she can’t hide from her anti-business and anti-taxpayer voting record.”
During the 2 ½ years she has served in the House, Clark has voted to increase not only the sales tax, but also the meals tax, alcohol tax, telephone tax, satellite dish tax, cigarette tax, lodging tax and taxes on business, which has led to the loss of jobs across the state.
“My opponent has not ruled out voting for more taxes after the election, but the residents of this district just can’t afford to get hit with any more,” Spadafora said.
A new report by the Pioneer Institute and the Massachusetts High Technology Council shows that most business leaders blame the state’s “uncompetitive” and “unpredictable” tax policies for creating a poor business climate and stifling jobs creation. CEO Magazine declared Massachusetts one of the five worst states for business in a 2010 survey, and a report released by CNBC in August ranked Massachusetts 39th in business costs and 41st for cost of living.
“Study after study has shown that taxes are hurting our state’s ability to attract new businesses and retain existing ones,” said Spadafora. “More than 300,000 Massachusetts residents are unemployed, and the only way we can get these people back to work is to focus on reducing the tax burden on small businesses, not adding to it as Representative Clark has done.”
In addition to his no new tax increases pledge, Spadafora said voters can expect him to be non-partisan and responsive to their concerns.
“The voters of the Middlesex & Essex district need an independent voice who will stand up for them on Beacon Hill, and not just vote in lock-step with party leadership,” he said. “My opponent has voted 98 percent of the time with the House Speaker, but I will put the interests of the people ahead of political interests.”