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Patrick: We Need to Increase Income Tax to Invest in Our Future

Tell us: do you think we need to increase taxes to strengthen education and transportation?

In his State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday night, Gov. Deval Patrick proposed raising the state's income tax by 1 percentage point and lowering the sales tax to pay for $2 billion in transportation improvements and early childhood education programs. 

"There is no good time to raise taxes. I know how tough the times have been on the people and families of the Commonwealth.  And though the worst of the recession is over, many, many families still face tough decisions and have deep anxiety about the future. I would not ask if I did not believe in my heart that investing meaningfully today in education and transportation will significantly improve our economic tomorrows," Patrick said.

Patrick said he wanted a more fair and comprehensive tax system that lowers the sales tax to 4.5 percent and raises the income tax to 6.25 percent. He added that he wants the proceeds to be dedicated to a public works fund that will support the transportation plan. 

"Under my plan, sales tax proceeds would be off limits for any other purpose," Patrick said.

To make the burden lighter on those who make less money, the governor said he'd like to double the personal exemptions and eliminate a number of itemized deductions.

The proposed tax hike seeks to pay for $2 billion in education and transportation improvement the governor wants.

The education spending would include funding high-quality early education and K-12 education, investment in public colleges and universities, and the re-invigoration of the MassGrants scholarship program.

For transportation improvements, the governor envisions "a bus or subway that came on time, was safe and comfortable and ran until a student at UMass Boston or a worker in a downtown tower finished up at 1 or 2 in the morning." He also spoke of faster commuter rails, a Green Line that goes to Medford, commuter lines that reached the western part of the state and an improved highway system. 

"The people we work for want the schools I have described; they want the rail and road services we have laid out; and above all they want the opportunity and growth these investments will bring.  We on their behalf have choices to make. I choose growth," Patrick said.

What do you think? Is the choice between higher taxes and growth, and lower taxes and stagnation? Do you support the tax increase? Tell us in the comments below.

Christopher Popham Smith January 18, 2013 at 11:12 AM
Thanks justmaybe. Actually, I was a third party candidate for president in 2007-8. Just wanted to be a voice for the American people, but few were listening. Instead, people were intoxicated and mesmerized by Barack Hussein Obama. And so this once great nation will continue to suffer the incompetence, spending, corruption and absurd arrogance of an extreme liberal White House. Gov. Patrick is part and parcel of this suffering. Good luck, America.
Southender January 18, 2013 at 07:30 PM
I think Minnie Me should follow the Leader's proposal and tax only those above a certain income. He will never be President now, though his chances were never that good.
Juan Batteyeye January 22, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Masked- I really would like to know what hack office YOU are working for. It's obvious from your comments that you are really just a bitter, underperforming naysayer with some menial job (at best). I work in the private sector... and quite frankly vote in the middle. But everyone on this post neglects to mention that this state is one of the strongest in the nation because of democratic policies. We avoided the brunt of the housing bubble and though it was tough for all of us, this state maintined some of the best employment figures. Businesses move here because of our infrastructure and educational resources... and yes, we do have the best public schools in the country. http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2012/12/11/mass-garners-high-marks-key-international-exam/oR1K54pAj9GbMNK6MT0LzM/story.html
Christopher Popham Smith January 22, 2013 at 03:08 PM
With all due respect, Mr. Batteyeye, your statements regarding the Bay State's 'healthy' economy etc. are fairly valid; notwithstanding, in a recessionary period the mere idea of altering (raising taxes) to expand railway lines to the South Shore and Springfield is absurd and unconscionable. We need a new governor of Massachusetts..................soon.
Bob Samson January 22, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Invest and Tax are a democrat joke. A bad one at that.

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