CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Recent tax increases are being blamed for slow population growth.
After the 2010 census, Massachusetts lost a seat in Congress. Massachusetts used to have 10 seats in the House of Representatives, now, there are nine. The number of seats a state can have is a formula tied to its population.
The population of Massachusetts rose 15% from 1983 to 2013 but the rest of the nation’s population grew more than 41%. Some blame that on taxes. Recent tax increases include tobacco.
An increase in the gas tax is tied to inflation. The state sales tax increased in 2009 and Massachusetts has a 5.2% flat tax on all income.
Carol Feder from New York told 22News it’s even worse in the Empire state, “Our property taxes are very high and sales tax is 8.75%, so it does make for a lot of expense.”
“Probably we are losing people from the Northeast to the Southwest because of that but I think that’s a tragedy that America is facing right now because I think the taxes that we have here are so important,” said Peter Ives of Northampton.
In 1950, states from Pennsylvania to Maine had 141 members in the House of Representatives. Now, there are only 85.