State Senate Debating 6.25% Sales Tax

The state senate is trying to agree on revenue-enhancement amendments to its version of the state budget tonight. Looks like they intend to follow the House in hiking the sales tax from 5.0 to 6.25 percent -- in the face of Deval Patrick's threat to veto.

This afternoon, the senate voted against raising the income tax, and against raising the gas tax either 19 cents or 11 cents.

After much caucusing, they are currently debating the sales tax increase. Still to come: alcohol tax and local-tax options, as well as eliminating the sales-tax exemption for gasoline, and possibly smaller gas-tax increases. I don't know whether any of that will be added to the mix in addition to the sales tax increase (if indeed that passes).

You'll notice that Gov. Patrick travelled out of the state today, which seems like a wise way to avoid questions about whether he's sticking by that veto threat.

Update: Sales tax increase wins, 29-10. Booze tax also passed.

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