Big Three back tax diversion
Would tap $200m headed for rainy day fund
THE BIG THREE on Beacon Hill are in agreement that about $200 million in capital gains tax revenue slated for deposit in the state’s rainy day fund should instead be diverted to offset this fiscal year’s $765 million deficit.
Both House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stan Rosenberg said on Monday that they agreed with a proposal by Gov. Charlie Baker to use an “overage” in capital gains tax revenue to address the current budget shortfall. The overage is a reference to capital gains tax revenue in excess of $1 billion that by law is supposed to go into the rainy day fund.
“It’s one-time money and it’s a one-time problem,” Rosenberg said. “It’s not a bad idea.”
DeLeo also said he supports using the money to address the current budget deficit.
The three officials spent almost two hours meeting in Baker’s office discussing opioid issues, the 2024 Olympics bid, the budget deficit, and the winter storm, according to Baker. The three seemed comfortable with each other in a brief press availability after the meeting. “We had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs,” Rosenberg said.
Baker didn’t spell out what the Olympics discussion centered on, but there appears to be some philosophical differences among the three state leaders on whether the Games should be held primarily in Boston or scattered around the state.
Boston 2024, the private group developing the US Olympics bid, is pushing for a walkable and transit-oriented Olympics with most of the venues in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville. Current plans call for a handful of events in western Massachusetts and Lowell.Both DeLeo and Rosenberg say they would like to spread the Olympic events around the state, to share the wealth, so to speak. Rosenberg on Monday reiterated his view that western Massachusetts is an ideal location for some of the Olympic events.
Baker declined to say where he stood on the geographic footprint of the Olympics bid, saying he didn’t have enough information yet. “I would like to do what works,” he said. Holding his hands up in the shape of a circle that kept getting larger, he said he didn’t know if the Olympics should be hosted in an area “this big, or this big, or this big.”