Speaker supports Dempsey after budget chief’s comment on taxes

In this file photo from 2014, House Speaker Robert Deleo (D-Winthrop), talks to members of the media.

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, DEC. 17, 2015…..After the House Ways and Means chairman said Wednesday that new taxes were “not on the table at all” next year, House Speaker Robert DeLeo said he would back that commitment.

Several economists and experts estimated revenue growth of less than 4 percent in the 2017 fiscal year during a hearing on Wednesday, after which House budget chief Brian Dempsey downplayed the idea of new or higher taxes as part of the upcoming debate over spending priorities.

“I think that Chairman Dempsey, as chair of the Ways and Means Committee was sure upon the checking of figures and facts and all that and made that statement,” DeLeo said Thursday after speaking at State House event honoring graduates of college preparation program for working adults. “I will support him on that.”

DeLeo called Dempsey after the annual revenue hearing to get his impression and hear about the projections, the speaker said Thursday.

“You want to hear all these things like, ‘Next year is going to be unbelievable, everything is just going to skyrocket,’ but he felt that most, I think just about everyone was conservative in their estimates for next year,” DeLeo said.

DeLeo, who served as Ways and Means chairman before becoming speaker, said the projected revenue growth is best described as “modest.”

“I think seeing an increase of revenue of less than $1 billion — it may sound like a lot, but in these types of budgets in these types of times, it really isn’t,” he said. “I guess I’m grateful to see some growth.”

Copyright 2015 State House News Service

Comments are closed.