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Sarah Peake, Martha Coakley, lead "Women for Markey"

Taxpayers shoulder an extra $1,542 in taxes to "make up for" $150 billion in revenue due to tax havens - Legislature extracted $300 million in local road funding
Lower Cape State Rep. Sarah Peake jumps in to help Ed Markey.
Lower Cape State Rep. Sarah Peake jumps in to help Ed Markey.

Coakley. Peake, to help Markey reach out to women voters

Sarah Peake expands role as "Women for Markey" program begins

Lower Cape State Rep Sarah Peake's profile keeps getting larger. Increasingly she is a leader in several areas especially tourism.

Now she joined Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Edward Markey visited Charlestown Thursday night along with Attorney General Martha Coakley, the 2010 Democratic nominee for Senate, to launch the Markey campaign's "Women for Markey" program.

The event is linked to 15 house parties and phone banking efforts to reach out to female voters and talk to them about Markey's record. Markey on Thursday also released an ad highlighting his "pro-choice record and fight for equal pay for equal work."

Reps. Sarah Peake of Provincetown, Rep. Ruth Balser of Newton and  and Sen. Pat Jehlen of Somerville plan to join Markey at his campaign headquarters in Charlestown.

Markey, who picked up the endorsement Thursday of the United Steelworkers District 4, also came under fire from Massachusetts Republicans, who poked at him in connection with a FOX 25 report that he's the only candidate in the five-man race for U.S. Senate who has not agreed to a FOX 25 debate with his opponent or an in-studio interview.

Report uncovers Taxpayer burden of Tax havens - Urges closing loopholes

Report singled out Pfizer, Microsoft and Citigroup

A report released yesterday recommends the closure of loopholes that allow companies to legally move profits to offshore tax havens. The MassPIRG study concluded the average Massachusetts taxpayer shoulders an extra $1,542 in taxes to "make up for" $150 billion in revenue foregone each year due to the use of tax havens by corporations and wealthy individuals.

While the activity is legal, the report describes it as "accounting tricks" and emphasizes that the revenue foregone to tax havens would be more than enough to covers the automatic spending cuts recently triggered under a process known as sequestration.

The report also concluded that the average Massachusetts small business pays $4,690 to cover the cost of "offshore tax dodging" by large corporations, which MassPIRG says have a competitive advantage over small businesses that don't use tax havens.

The report singled out Pfizer, Microsoft and Citigroup as companies that use tax laws to minimize taxable income in the United States. "They benefit from their access to America's markets, workforce, infrastructure and security; but they pay little or nothing for it - violating the basic fairness of the tax system and forcing other taxpayers to pick up the tab," the report said.

Senate Transpo chief to look at criticisms

After the Legislature extracted $300 million in local road funding from the larger question of new revenues to pay for transportation, Gov. Deval Patrick nudged the road funding back into the tax debate by questioning whether revenues proposed by the Legislature would cover the increase.

"We'll have to take a look at the numbers and see what that means," Senate Transportation Chairman Tom McGee (D-Lynn) told the News Service. McGee joined House and Senate leaders Tuesday to announce a $500 million tax proposal to pay for transportation, which is half the amount Patrick planned to raise for transportation.

After the Transportation Committee separated out one year of local road funding from Patrick's $19 billion transportation bond bill, Patrick suggested that increasing local road funding from $200 million to $300 million "raises some question" given the amount of new revenue legislative leaders proposed.

Asked about claims that the plan by legislative leaders would double state costs for the Green Line and lead to higher fares and tolls, McGee said he would consider the criticisms leveled against the $500 million plan. "There's a lot of plans that are out there. I think the discussion will continue," McGee said. While he declined to give his initial read on specific criticisms, McGee said they were being considered. He said, "I'll continue to look at some of the criticisms of the plan that was proposed the other day."

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