Bad Bill: American Flag Tax

American Flag Tax

This featured Bad Bill is HB #3496, introduced by Rep. Cory Atkins (D – Concord), which creates a new tax on airplanes and the American flag. If enacted, this bill will make our state more expensive businesses. Also, it will make Massachusetts the first state to tax people for showing their patriotism. Why the bill’s sponsors chose to lump these two, very different, products together is a mystery, but both taxes are a bad idea.

By creating an aircraft sales tax, Rep. Atkins will make Massachusetts less competitive at attracting businesses, particularly the kind of large corporations that rely on private aircraft for their executives’ travel. These businesses, especially in the biotechnology sector, have contributed to Boston’s current economic boom and created jobs for countless Massachusetts residents. Making the state more expensive for them is the last thing Beacon Hill should do given the constant competition between states for jobs.

The second part of the bill, taxing the American flag, is ridiculous. Of all the products that currently enjoy a sales tax exemption, our flag is the most deserving. An emblem of patriotism and civic pride should be the last thing the government makes more expensive. Even by the tax and spend standards of Rep. Atkins and Beacon Hill liberals, a flag tax is a truly terrible idea.

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