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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, commuter lines reaching 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.

MCREMvonStauffenfritzpellmell January 27, 2013 at 07:49 PM
No, it's about education, treating teachers like human beings who do an important job, treating children like they are worth our time and money.
Tina Mqs January 27, 2013 at 08:54 PM
There's no need for education at age 0. And if there were, I'd consider it fairly, so long as i wasn't forced to pay for a sex change for a murderer in for life.
aycaramba January 29, 2013 at 01:50 AM
Lemme get this straight. If you support unions, you are a troll. But if you are against unions, you are like Indiana. TROLL!! Indiana is a troll!!!! Hiding behind anybody so long as it gets to be a TROLL!
Indiana January 29, 2013 at 03:32 PM
LMAO - Just for once think for yourself...Do you want higher taxes because you think it is the choice or because you are walking the party line?
Ken B. January 31, 2013 at 11:27 PM
Ayca/MC, So the best you got is a claim that since SC is corrupt we should throw more money down the demotax rathole under the guise of improving education and transportation ? Where's your proof that it will ?.....oh, nevermind, you said so, so it must be true. (Sound of buzzer) Dissss-missed !

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