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Gobi, Comtois split on whether to kill income tax.

Byline: Bradford L. Miner

The Republican candidate for the 5th Worcester District House seat says he will vote for Question 1 Tuesday and questions the tax position of his opponent, state Rep. Anne M. Gobi, D-Spencer. Question 1 would phase out the state income tax.

Mr. Comtois said Ms. Gobi voted eight times in the 2005 and 2006 sessions against rolling back the state income tax to 5 percent, and voted for a retroactive increase in the capital gains tax.

"She claims otherwise, and has stated as well that she voted against an increase in the cigarette tax, but she did vote for it, and 97 percent of the time has voted with House Speaker Sal DiMasi," Mr. Comtois said.

Ms. Gobi responded that she has been involved in more than 3,000 votes since being elected, and finds it interesting that Mr. Comtois is bringing up 3-year-old votes while never mentioning them during the 2006 campaign, in which he lost to her by a vote of 10,104 to 4,526.

Throughout the campaign, Ms. Gobi has characterized Question 1 as a reckless act that would wreak havoc on critical state services.

She has challenged Mr. Comtois on the "100 percent rating" he lists on his Web site, www.stephencomtois.com, from the Gun Owners' Action League, the Web site of which endorses candidates but does not assign numerical ratings. GOAL endorsed Ms. Gobi and gave her an A+ legislative rating.

Mr. Comtois said Ms. Gobi has said she did not vote to increase the cigarette tax during the current legislative session, when the record shows that on April 10 she did.

Mr. Comtois has called for an immediate rollback of the state income tax to 5 percent and the 9.5 percent corporate tax rate to the national average of 6.9 percent.

Mr. Comtois backs tax rebates for families converting to green energy systems such as solar panels and wind turbines.

The 5th Worcester District covers Barre, Brookfield, Hardwick, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Petersham, Phillipston, Templeton, West Brookfield, Precinct A in Ware, and Precincts 2 and 3 in Spencer.

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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Oct 29, 2008
Words:352
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