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Oops: Governor says software tax he pushed through was a big mistake

The State House News Service reports Gov. Patrick has heard software types about how bad Massachusetts looks with a tax on such basic services as setting up Web sites. Now to see if he can get the legislature to repeal the tax - and make up the $161 million he says it would raise.

Ed. conflict of interest note: I recently submitted my first invoice to a client for building a Web site that included the 6.25% tax, so obviously I'm not completely unbiased in the matter.

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I was just about to pick up some new clients and was warning them about the sales tax (and trying to figure out how I would pay this.. ugh)

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...it must be to be able to characterize this simply as just poor judgment. He got caught with his hands in the cookie jar and now needs to repent for the sake of keeping prominent figures among his base happy.

Governor, this may come as a shock to you, but an honest politician (are there any?) wouldn't bury a new tax like this in the bowels of a transportation bill. You knew damn well what you were doing - which was attempting to bite the hand that feeds you - without anyone noticing. You got caught and now characterize it is simply as a misjudgment.

Shame on you for jeopardizing our innovation economy for the sake of your laziness.

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I appreciate the spirit of what you're saying but I actually think you might be giving him too much credit to suggest he knew what he was doing. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of corruption and underhanded dealings that go on, but in this case I think this can pretty much be ascribed to one of the dumbest, most moronic cases of severe idiocy this state has ever seen in its legislature. Idiots!!! Moronic idiots!!! Perhaps a kilobyte tax, so that when our higher income residents connect their modems to America Online they'll pay a tax on each kilobyte they transfer?? Idiots.

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This isn't a new idea - they tried to extend the sales tax to services in the early 90s, which would have badly screwed up a lot of existing consulting contracts.

I think this can pretty much be ascribed to one of the dumbest, most moronic cases of severe idiocy this state has ever seen in its legislature.

That's a pretty high bar. I think I would save that for "gee, we overspent on a highway project where we were required to build transit with federal dollars as part of the entire project budget - let's dump the debt on the transit system".

Chock it up to the kind of marginal nickel-and-diming that happens when people throw massive symbolic vitriolic hissy fits at the very thought of raising income taxes or gas taxes, but still demand services.

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The Democrats?

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And, at the time, it wasn't as dominated by the Democrats AND the plan was viewed somewhat favorably by a Republican governor who wanted to appear to cut taxes.

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Do you think this was a good idea or not?

First you say that extending the sales tax in the 90's would have been a poor decision, but then say we are throwing "hissy fits" because we "demand services."

First, if your point is that "demanding services" means we pay taxes on services, then why not *all* services? Why would it be restricted to just one segment of the economy?

And, as long as we are talking about targeting the cash cow that is tech, if you want to generate revenue, here is a crazy idea...how about, I dunno, growing more tech startups?! (Save the MassChallenge talk for another time) Instead, let's take the easy way out and tax services for our innovation economy. I can't think of a more certain way to stifle growth and lose lucrative, tax-generating jobs here in the Commonwealth. Apparently they haven't learned one thing from the tech companies we have already lost to out-of-state. It truly is moronic.

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That's a State House News Service story, not WBUR. 'BUR knows I love them, but gotta look out for who signs the check, you know?

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