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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.

Howard Kosrofian January 17, 2013 at 01:16 AM
How about making people who recieve state, county and local pensions, pay STATE INCOME TAX PERIOD, since that is all exempt from state taxes.He won`t dare to go there, just want`s to keep piling on the same as his ALTER EGO IN THE WHITE HOUSE.
Christopher Popham Smith January 17, 2013 at 01:32 AM
Governor Patrick has of course gone off the deep end this time. The last thing this once great state needs in a recession is more taxes to pay for needless railway systems to Springfield and the South Shore. We are taxed to death in Massachusetts. Is taxing and stressing the populace the only thing that Democrats know how to do? The rampant graft and corruption on Beacon Hill is already devastating the Bay State. We need a new governor of Massachusetts................soon.
Christopher Popham Smith January 17, 2013 at 01:34 AM
Very, very good suggestion, Howard, but like you said, Patrick would never address that issue.
Lawrence January 17, 2013 at 01:40 AM
This is just another attempt to extract more money from the hard working public, under the guise of "education and transportation." Actually, there is enough money for these services if the state did not waste money and give it to the corporations. Remember when Menino gave $10 million to the W hotel? Then they went "bankrupt and were unable to repay. Remember when Obama provided $235 million for MA to spend on infrastructure, LIKE TRANSPORTATION, but instead went to build the Assembly Sq. Mall! A private corporate venture. Remember when Patrick, wanted to give the Patriots 9 MILLION for a footbridge? Thank God the public outcry was too loud for that particular act of corruption. Everyday the corporations bleed us dry then the officials use the lame excuse they need more money for education. They really need more money for the CEO's and corporate give away's. The NY Times had completed a full investigation into how states and cities are giving $80 billion a year to companies, all at the taxpayers expense.
Christopher Popham Smith January 17, 2013 at 01:46 AM
Thank you Lawrence......for a very good analysis of the facts and truth behind Patrick's taxation. Surprising however that the N.Y.Times would publish such a list.
Lawrence January 17, 2013 at 02:35 AM
This the the NY Times article: As Companies Seek Tax Deals, Governments Pay High Price A New York Times investigation into the incentives that governments offer businesses has found that states, cities and counties are giving up more than $80 billion a year to attract or keep the companies and the jobs that they provide. The beneficiaries come from virtually every corner of the corporate world, encompassing oil and coal conglomerates, technology and entertainment companies, banks and big-box retail chains. But the cost of the awards is certainly far higher. A full accounting, The Times discovered, is not possible because the incentives are granted by thousands of government agencies and officials, and many do not know the value of all their awards. Nor do they know if the money was worth it because they rarely track how many jobs are created. Even where officials do track incentives, they acknowledge that it is impossible to know whether the jobs would have been created without the aid. Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/us/how-local-taxpayers-bankroll-corporations.html?emc=na
William Dawes January 17, 2013 at 11:59 AM
Using Google PoliticalSpeech Translator, Patrick said: "I need to increase taxes on the people who work so I can reward my constituencies - the labor unions and teachers' union."
j k01 January 17, 2013 at 01:38 PM
You get what you voted for, so enjoy it while you search around for other states to which you can transfer your assets.
Juan Batteye January 17, 2013 at 02:52 PM
Hey- Idiots- We may pay higher taxes in this state but let's be honest... we have the best schools, dynamic and busy (growing) cities, and low unemployment rates. Not to mention the fact that Gov. Patrick has secured the nations highest credit rating (which actually lowers our costs overall) As soon as we all admit that we can do better in a slightly higher tax state the better off we all will be
walter ferme January 17, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Great, lets encourage consumption by lowering the sales tax and go after people's income so they do not consume! If he is trying to help poor people, isn't one of the basics (food) already exempt from sales tax?
TheMaskedTruthsayer January 17, 2013 at 03:27 PM
Hey, Juan, "Eyes-glued-shut," what hack office yo workinmg out of these days, fella?
Michael January 17, 2013 at 03:37 PM
agreed. if you don't like the politics of the state you live in, move. Or, run for office if you feel you have the answers. More interesting is that the comments above seem to miss the point of the article being linked to. Entirely. (I know, it's long, but you can skim to glean the salient points) It is, that Big Business in America, is operating entirely at odds with the Government in it's mandate of a best interest of the people. An important passage in the NYT article: A portrait arises of mayors and governors who are desperate to create jobs, outmatched by multinational corporations and short on tools to fact-check what companies tell them. Many of the officials said they feared that companies would move jobs overseas if they did not get subsidies in the United States. Huh. Well, those corrupt a-hole Politicians, trying to foster job retention/ creation by incentiv-ising (sp) on behalf of Americans. Boy, I just hate that. Skimming, I didn't get any mention of money going to Labor, nor Teachers. Rather, it's more at money that could be going to social programs, police, fire, schools, roads, bridges, being spent trying to keep Soulless Corporations employing in their communities. The Corporations holding their hand out saying "pay me" to stay, getting paid, and leaving anyway; opening plants offshore. Huh. Yet the Government gets the blame when jobs aren't created. Paradox.
Joseph January 17, 2013 at 04:07 PM
Best schools? As in public elementary schools? Yeah, lay off the crack there pal, or read a paper. This tax and spend plan of the governor is an attack on hard working individuals. Plain and simple. G'day
paul January 17, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Is Nancy Brennan's $185,000 salary to run the rose kennedy $$Greenway$$ going to turn into $185,000 pension soon, or will she claim disability & get even more tax free retirement, Just wondering how anybody can justify that kind of salary ....to plant daisys & daffodills.
Christopher Popham Smith January 17, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Indeed, elections do have consequences as we just witnessed on Nov. 6th, 2012.
BH Resident January 17, 2013 at 08:45 PM
Here we go again with raising taxes. That's what the people in MA get for voting in these fools. Another ridiculous idea by the democratic politicians. Increasing taxes to fund labor unions, state pensions, illegal immigrant college funds and all the other benefit scrounges perfectly capable of working for a living. I can't afford to pay higher taxes. You've already increased the taxes on my property way too much. And Juan I'm not sure where you have been but "best schools" and " higher tax we will all be better off"??? Get a grip, you're welcome to pay for my income tax increase because I certainly don't want to pay it. We will never see any benefit to paying more. I spend way too much time working to survive as it is. Stop taking my hard earned money!!! No tax increases please!!
Kevin MacDonald January 18, 2013 at 01:48 AM
1.)Eliminate local government waste including nonessential personnel. 2.)Eliminate State government waste including nonessential personnel. 3.)Recognize that our prison system is our cheap labor and bring jobs back from over seas. 4.)Start to educate and train our prisoners and rehab them to be able to contribute to society rather than drain it. 5.)Find ways to build up people's income so they can spend and help build on the economy. ( break up the monopolies that are causing inflation, institute laws that require manufacturers to eliminate planned obsolesence and product failure so we become respectable again throughout the world for our goods produced.) 6.)Create a grant program that funds worker's compensation and insurance programs for start up businesses to help create jobs and to temporarily help companies get off the ground. 7.)Create laws that keep investment money in our economy and our country. 8.) Establish a better equipped/staffed/funded retraining program to transition people into other fields of employment.( especially nonessential government workers) 9.) Review State pension plans to require investment in the Massachusetts economy. 10.)A penny that is doubled every day is better than a one time pay out of a million dollars. Desire a little from a lot of workers rather than a lot from a little amount of workers.
Kevin MacDonald January 18, 2013 at 01:50 AM
1% of the sales tax goes toward the Massachusetts School Building Authority. When the Governor looks at a project like the proposed Wilmington High School project and then looks at a cost estimating company like Reed Construction Data (RS MEANS) and sees that there may be a problem with over inflated prices and contracts that are not going out for competitive bid on the State's Central Register he may recognize massive waste. He may also feel that a community should not knock down a structurally sound building that could be used to generate income for a community when that community could build a school for less money on another site. He should recognize that regional schools could help defray costs of education. A Wilmington/North Reading regional school would accomplish that. Someone please take a look also into Wilmington's North Intermediate School window project. A same size school two years ago (the Shawsheen School) had a window designer contract of $84,000 and this school has a designer cost of $207,000. These designer costs do not have to go out for competitive bid on the State's Central Register. This is a huge mistake. There is a lot of nonsense that should be eliminated before raising taxes. I do like the Governor very much, I just think on the economical issues that he could be doing things different to gain success.
MPreston January 18, 2013 at 05:06 AM
Christopher Popham Smith - you are correct, Kevin MacDonald - you have my vote, when are you running for governor ? walter f - yes, per usual Duval is upside down and backwards. Duval's plan takes money from those who are desperately struggling to keep from falling backwards, and it gives more to those who are already collecting. Anybody looked at the census data to see if those with higher incomes are leaving MA, while those with no income are arriving to collect ?
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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