Speaker DeLeo: Mass. Budget Gap At $500M to $1B

BOSTON (AP) — House Speaker Robert DeLeo is estimating that the state faces a budget gap of between $500 million and $1 billion in the next fiscal year, but he’s sticking to his no-new-tax pledge.

Speaking to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, DeLeo repeated his pledge that the House’s spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 will not contain new taxes. Gov. Deval Patrick has proposed hiking the tobacco tax and making candy and soda subject to the state’s sales tax.

DeLeo said the House budget would likely call for additional spending cuts and what he called “alternative” ways of raising more revenue.

The speaker told business leaders the best way to narrow the budget gap is through jobs creation. He said House leaders would introduce a jobs bill later this year.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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