Today is an example of that.
One of my recent blogs - and the letter I sent them - was about a horrendous story on how businesses were "blasting" Patrick's plan to close loopholes. The story neglected to mention key information, which was widely available, such as the fact that Massachusetts has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the country. Furthermore, story never discussed the more than dozen states that have closed the very same loopholes, including states with a lot of corporations like Illinois and California.
Well, here's a snippet of today's lead editorial:
Debate quickly became heated over whether Patrick was proposing a major tax increase on state businesses, or merely "closing loopholes." The question is more than semantic. And the answer, in truth, is that the plan would be both.
When fully implemented, Patrick's tax increases would yield some $500 million, only $75 million of which would go to property tax relief, while the rest would go toward balancing the budget. Since the total take for corporate taxes in fiscal 2006 was only $1.4 billion, $500 million more represents an enormous tax hike, says Michael Widmer of the business-funded Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
Sure, it's a big percentage increase, but from a very low base. According to the liberal Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, the state ranks from 43 d to 49th in its level of corporate taxation. Besides, say Patrick's budgeteers, the targeted taxes really are loopholes. The largest change, called combined reporting, would prevent companies from setting up subsidiaries in low-tax states that could suck up revenues that should legitimately be subject to taxation in Massachusetts. Seventeen states use this method, and others are moving in that direction, they say.
Why, the editorial mentions the very same things I criticized the Globe for just the other day. They learned their lesson. Furthermore, they did an important thing: critiqued the governor for not getting going on some of his other campaign promises, such as speeding up the permitting process. It's something that should go along with closing the corporate loopholes. Not only is it the right thing to do, it's the type of compromise that could soften the corporate blow and make them all the less likely to bitterly stave off such basic things as tax fairness.
So, the Globe did a good job today. Let's just hope that next time they can get it right the first time.