“We raised fees on all sorts of things in Massachusetts.”—Mitt Romney
Though he passed tax cuts that favored Massachusetts’ wealthiest citizens and its biggest corporations, Gov. Mitt Romney raised or created more than 1,000 taxes and fees that hit the Bay State’s middle class and small businesses. In fact, the majority of the 19 tax cuts Romney claims to have passed as governor were actually tax breaks skewed heavily toward Hollywood, big corporations, and the rich.
At the same time, Romney had no problem raising a gas tax by 400% and increasing fees on everything from mortgages to milk—consistently valuing the interests of Massachusetts’ wealthiest individuals over the pocketbooks of middle-class families.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the biggest tax cuts Romney passed as governor:
Exempted wealthy Bay Staters from paying taxes on the state’s capital gains tax increase. Of the $275 million tax refund, $78 million went to just 278 wealthy individuals.
Offered Bristol-Myers Squibb more than $60 million in spending and incentives to build a facility in Massachusetts by letting the company claim a refund for 5% of its investment.
Gave major tax breaks to Hollywood production companies in order to “attract major films” to Massachusetts—a package that “provide[d] up to $7 million in tax credits for a single production.”
Many of the tax cuts Romney touts on the campaign trail were merely extensions of previous tax breaks created by previous administrations. One was more than 30 years old. Romney even decided to later veto one of the tax credits he created—the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit—because he said “he considered it wasteful spending.” But that’s never stopped Romney from including it as one of his 19 tax cuts.
In order to pay for these tax cuts, some of which favored the state’s most fortunate, Romney increased taxes and fees by $750 million a year. Romney raised or created more than 1,000 taxes and fees, which fell primarily on the middle class. Here’s but a small sample of Gov. Romney’s fee-for-all:
Created a $15 fee requiring the blind to get an identification card proving they were blind.
Increased licensing fees on nurses, barbers, plumbers, electricians, social workers, and EMTs.
Increased the fee required to get a driver’s license.
Raised a gas tax by 400% on Massachusetts’ motorists, who were already paying a 21-cent-per-gallon state tax on gasoline.
Doubled the fees and taxes required to receive a test for lead-poisoning.
Tripled the fee for a mammography x-ray machine licenses from $100 to $300.
Increased the fee for a motor vehicle repair shop license from $100-a-year to $450 for a three-year license.
Increased the fee for filling and registering a mortgage from $20 to $150.
Doubled a state fee on milk dealers.
See the entire list of fees Romney raised here.
As governor, Romney consistently demonstrated that he supported raising taxes and fees on middle-class citizens, but still passed tax cuts that benefited big corporations and the rich. As president, he would do the same: Independent tax experts say Romney’s plan would give millionaires and billionaires a tax cut, paid for by raising taxes on middle-class families with kids by an average of $2000. Those aren’t the values Bay Staters wanted in their State House, and they’re not the values Americans need in the White House.