Colin A. Young
Gov. Charlie Baker is glad that his successor, Democrat Maura Healey, has signaled she plans to continue lobbying for some of the tax reforms that the Republican proposed, but he said in an interview that aired Sunday he never expected all of his ideas would become law.
The House and Senate had each unanimously approved slightly different changes to the state’s estate tax this summer but abandoned those plans when the final economic development bill was passed earlier this month.
Healey, who supports most of the broad tax reform plan that Baker proposed this year, has consistently called on the Legislature to finish the work they started. “I was thrilled to hear the governor-elect and the lieutenant governor-elect talk about cutting taxes because there are a lot of people in Massachusetts who would benefit from the tax cuts we proposed,” Baker said during an appearance on WCVB’s “On The Record.” The governor added, “There’s a big competitive issue for Massachusetts around the estate tax, OK? We have the most aggressive estate — there are only 15 or 16 states that even have an estate tax — and there’s a lot of bipartisan support … and on short-term capital gains, no one has a short-term capital gains tax like ours.”
Asked about the portions of his proposal that Healey may continue to push for after she succeeds Baker in January, the governor said, “Look, I would like to see the whole package move but I never expected, since the day I took office, that I would ever get back from the Legislature whatever exactly I submitted.” Instead of taking a pop quiz, Baker responded to a series of questions as part of an “On The Record” lightning round:
-Should MassGOP Chairman Jim Lyons continue to lead the state party? “No,” Baker said.
-Should debt for students be forgiven? “No, Baker said.
-Are you relieved to step out of the spotlight? “Yes,” the governor said.
-Who will you miss most, reporters shoving microphones in your face, demonstrators outside the front of your home, or people who want instant answers to statewide crises? “Probably number three,” Baker said.
-Are you happy that Twitter may fade away? “I think social media is not representative for the most part — especially when it comes to politics — of where most Americans are and I think he gives people a false sense about the division in this country. … I found a lot of really interesting analysis, researchers, scientists, political commentators on Twitter I never would have found otherwise who I follow, and I learned a lot from. That part, I really liked and I appreciate it. But I do believe that if Twitter goes away something else will replace it.”