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

Tell us: do you think Massachusetts needs 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 a full percentage point and lowering the sales tax to pay for $2 billion worth of 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 and went 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.

Michael Fleming January 20, 2013 at 10:47 PM
Agreed
TheHam January 22, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Same Here Marc, I'm on the market right now looking to move my family out of this shat-hole town. Hopefully, in 5 years from now (but probably sooner), the only people in Waltham will be the unemployments/illegal immigrants. Let's see how all you democrats like it when you're the minority to a bunch of dead beats. Maybe they can tax 95% of your pay to cover the cost of those who left (and have a brain). Sadly, most of you won't have a problem with that until you're in the unemployment line saying, "Gee, NOW I get why we shouldn't have put taxes towards criminals and their children, and drug addicts who collect unemployment/ebts". But sadly, you probably won't even realize it.
TheHam January 22, 2013 at 05:25 PM
HAHAHAHAHA right on the mark Michael...
TheHam January 22, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Hey Mrs. Elizabeth Warren, Deval Patrick is "hammering" the middle class.. what now?
Michael Fleming January 22, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Please notice Patricks phraseology: "invest in the future". First the word "invest". It sort of sounds like a person socking money away for a rainy day huh? That is always a good strategy. Sound money management, judicious use of your hard earned money, right? One "invests" their money for a reward later on, like retirement or for a college fund. Thing is, it isn't that at all. It's another word in the Democrat lexicon that has been poll tested as a better word for "spend". Another word:"the future". Why...I loves me the future! Use of that word means that I HAVE one, so yes, by all means, let's use THAT word a lot. So putting those two bright happy sounding words together, it will fool a LOT of people into thinking positive, happy thoughts and supporting whom ever said them. It doesnt matter what they actually mean. Lets support the political party that makes me feel good about my self !..regardless of the long term consequences! (notice how many times the feel good word "journey" was used in the innauguration speech by Obama and by Chief of Staff Plough?) Dummies! The best way I know to have a brighter future is to NOT leave unpayable debts for my children and their children to pay off, and millions of able bodied Americans dependent on the government teat!

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