Read DeLeo's Lips: No New Taxes

By Sarah Birnbaum

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Feb. 8, 2012

deleo patrick

House Speaker Robert DeLeo, left, applauds Gov. Deval Patrick before the start of the Jan. 23 State of the State address — but his Feb. 8 priorities speech contradicts some of Patrick's key ideas. (Steven Senne/AP)


BOSTON — Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo told lawmakers on Feb. 8 that he would not support any new taxes or fees. The announcement came in his annual speech laying out key priorities for the year.

Speaker DeLeo said the House’s version of the budget will not include any new taxes.

“Any changes to revenue policy should be approached with extreme caution and should never be done piecemeal. As such, we will be releasing a budget from the House Committee on Ways and Means that does not rely on any new taxes or any new fees,” he said.

DeLeo’s comments seemed to deal a blow to Gov. Deval Patrick’s plan to raise $260 million in new revenue by increasing taxes on candy, soda and cigarettes.

 In the 15-minute speech, DeLeo also spoke about jobs and the importance of luring businesses to Massachusetts and keeping them here.

"As I meet with business leaders from across the state, increasingly I’m hearing about us losing the innovation battle to other states," he said. "Too often, I’m learning that our innovators and entrepreneurs are packing up and leaving. I don’t like seeing Massachusetts finish second to any other state."

DeLeo said he would try to create a more friendly business climate but stopped short of offering specific proposals.

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