Sunday, September 06, 2009

MA Politician Caught Avoiding Taxes He Approved

Boston Herald -- A Massachusetts lawmaker who voted to hike the state sales and alcohol taxes was spotted brazenly piling booze in his car - adorned with his State House license plate - in the parking lot of a tax-free New Hampshire liquor store. Rep. Michael J. Rodrigues’ blue Ford Crown Victoria, emblazoned with his “House 29” Massachusetts license plate, was parked outside a Granite State liquor store on I-95 South over the weekend, according to a witness who provided pictures to the Herald.

The Westport Democrat, whose family owns a rug business, was among the lawmakers who voted in an unpopular 25% sales tax hike for Bay Staters. The increase pushed the sales tax to 6.25% and slapped that same levy on booze - the first time alcohol has been subject to retail sales tax. The hike has been blasted by business owners, especially those on the New Hampshire border, who say the increase has driven business north.

Mike Cimini, owner of three Yankee Spirits liquor stores, said he’s lost about 10% of his business since the booze tax went into effect Aug. 1. "It’s absolutely unbelievable that a Massachusetts state representative would be that hypocritical, let alone be that bold to actually drive his car with political plates to a New Hampshire liquor store,” said Cimini, noting Rodrigues represents communities close to his stores. “He’s up in New Hampshire to avoid the very taxes he approved.”

HT: Art Little

4 Comments:

At 9/06/2009 4:49 PM, Blogger KipEsquire said...

A few years back there was a bit of libertarian outrage when agents of the NYS Department of Revenue went to Paramus, NJ (lower sales tax), recorded every NYS license plate in the parking lots and sent postcards to every "caught" (ahem) vehicle owner gently reminding them to report and pay NYS sales tax on anything they might have bought in NJ.

Land of the free...

 
At 9/06/2009 9:01 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Ohio was doing this back in the early 80s. They'd have tax agents in the parking lots of other states liquor store and bust Ohioans as they returned to Ohio. Some how the local communities in Kentucky made it illegal for Ohio agents to be in their communities and the law stuck.

 
At 9/06/2009 9:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is hysterical. I almost cannot believe it. It sounds like Michael Rodriques the lawmaker couldn't get his hands around how taxes would affect the economic behavior of Michael Rodriques the liquor consumer...

I applaud the latter Rodrigues; he's the rational one...his alter-ego, Rep. Rodriques, is the not so bright one...

Keep up the great work Mark. Good story.

 
At 9/07/2009 9:43 PM, Blogger 1 said...

Its worth reading Don Boudreaux's posting on this very same news story...

Then Boudreaux quotes a short passage from H.L. Mencken which struck me as hilarious and ever so on target!

 

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