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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 25, 2013 at 06:24 PM
Corruption: it's a bi-partisan thing.
Emcee of Seekonk January 25, 2013 at 06:34 PM
It is, but when a state is governed by Democrats, the corruption comes out of the governing party.
Emcee of Seekonk January 25, 2013 at 06:40 PM
There is always someone worst off. When I look at Chicago and Detroit, I think 'how lucky we are to have Boston'. We might have corruption and leaky tunnels, but our unemployment rate is better and so is our murder rate.
Emcee of Seekonk January 25, 2013 at 06:41 PM
If you like the blues, then you're in the right place. The comment below this one should have been addressed to MCREM.
Andrew January 25, 2013 at 06:51 PM
MCREM, just wondering how your doing recruiting all your liberal friends to check the box to pay higher income tax to enable the corrupt hackorama?
Jim O'Connor January 25, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Joescarp, I'm a Democrat and I've been waiting for an ambitious Republican politician to run for AG with a campaign to "clean up the mess on Beacon Hill." Why do you suppose that hasn't happened? Could it be that the charges of curruption are overblown? If the curruption is so bad could it be the Republicans are in on it too? Could it be the Republicans lack a qualified candidate?
MCREMvonStauffenfritzpellmell January 25, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Oh no, you don't have to be in the governing party to be corrupt. How many historical examples of that do you need? And as for recruiting people to pay taxes, that's not what I do. And again, taxes are not something that "liberals" want and "conservatives" don't. President Reagan, a self-avowed conservative, raised taxes. Taxes are the primary way in which we pay for things we share. They are open to discussion, they are necessary, they are always vilified by the same people who depend upon them (we all depend upon them). We should monitor them better, but when our knee-jerk response is to refuse them, and to pretend that it is only one party who wants them, we are usually only hurting ourselves.
Telling it like it is January 25, 2013 at 09:07 PM
Instead of a rail line from New Bedford to the Cape, Deval's way of ruining the Cape's serenity by introducing hordes of EBT freeloaders, he should build a rail line from the State House right to Cedar Junction. With all the thieves, crooks and felons from the Democratic party that train would be filled to capacity.
Indiana January 25, 2013 at 09:23 PM
Here you go MCREM http://www.akdart.com/labor6.html
Emcee of Seekonk January 25, 2013 at 09:35 PM
@MCREM... "President Reagan, a self-avowed conservative, raised taxes." What say? "The four pillars of Reagan's economic policy were to reduce the growth of government spending, reduce the federal income tax and capital gains tax, reduce government regulation, and control the money supply in order to reduce inflation." Taken from Wikipedia. If you remember, Carter was in office before Reagan, so Reagan inherited runaway inflation and high unemployment. A little like what we have today, but I think in the 1980's it was worse. Reagan corrected the course by lowering taxes, not raising them. Contents [hide]
MCREMvonStauffenfritzpellmell January 25, 2013 at 09:54 PM
"Using “constant” dollars (...) the tax increase signed in 1982 by President Reagan becomes the largest since 1968." This from FactCheck: (http://www.factcheck.org/2012/07/biggest-tax-increase-in-history), which most educated people find far more trustworthy than Wikipedia. And who cares if one person thinks Reagan inherited a bigger problem than Obama? Most people wouldn't agree. As for Reagan's pillars, he really couldn't keep them up...
David Nolta January 25, 2013 at 10:09 PM
I'm back! http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/aboutfdr/unions.html
MCREMvonStauffenfritzpellmell January 25, 2013 at 11:20 PM
Reagan raised taxes. Look it up.
Ken B. January 25, 2013 at 11:55 PM
ayca, It's not suspicion, it's FACT. Do you read or follow the news ? Former Foxboro Supt. Martes retired at age 57 with a pension in excess of $100K/year. Cong. Bill Keating has been hauling in a $100K+/year MA pension the last two years, is 59-60, and is also taking a congressional $100+K/year paycheck. Those are ridiculous payouts at a time when the social security carrot on the stick continues to be pushed to an increased age. What the banker gets or retires with is irrelevant. You can choose to do, or not do, business with the bank, while supporting the government is mandatory.
Ken B. January 26, 2013 at 12:05 AM
Actually, the 3 most recent Democratic Speakers of the House in Massachusetts did not "shame themselves," since they have no shame. More to the point, they are all convicted felons. DeLeo should be making it four-of-a-kind any day now. Interesting "two wrongs make a right" argument posting that link. Problem is, we're talking about Massachusetts, which is controlled lock, stock & barrel by Deval & the liberal democrat party. Try to stay on topic ?
aycaramba January 26, 2013 at 12:22 AM
Presumably all the Republican thieves, crooks and felons will be driving their own cars, or being driven by their drivers...
aycaramba January 26, 2013 at 12:35 AM
You're not paying attention, Ken B. Who cares if you think that one state worker's pension is too high? You don't get to decide what is too high, and you don't get to change the terms after the promise is made. And it's a promise (pensions, etc.) that has benefitted Republicans as well as Democrats, if you're talking about the pensions of elected officials. If you're talking about school officials, etc., presumably the individual communities have signed off on the terms--that is, it isn't a secret when the deal is struck. Reneging on the deal later on is just plain dishonest. But you know that, I'm sure.
aycaramba January 26, 2013 at 12:53 AM
You too, Ken B. The topic is tax hikes for education and transportation. Your whining is the usual unsupported smearing that you specialize in. "Democrats bad!!" "Republicans good!" A majority of people in Massachusetts don't agree with you, and a majority of voters in the country don't agree with you. Work on your demons! Trying to find ways to support education and transportation is not in and of itself corrupt! And that IS the topic. And if two wrongs don't make a right, all your wrongs sure as heck don't!
Ken B. January 26, 2013 at 01:11 AM
Hey ayca, My response was to MC. Forget to switch to your "MC yadda yadda" name to respond ?
aycaramba January 26, 2013 at 03:28 AM
Oh I thought the conversation was open to everybody! I thought we could all participate. Did you change the rules again, Ken B.? Anyway, I know who i am, and that's the important thing. AND back to the topic!
MCREMvonStauffenfritzpellmell January 26, 2013 at 03:30 AM
Hey Ken Yadda Yadda! I may not agree with everything that ayacaramba says, but when he or she agrees with me, I am fine with that! Be nice!
MCREMvonStauffenfritzpellmell January 26, 2013 at 03:38 AM
I believe I already answered that on this very page, though it's got little to do with the topic of the article. How's that "unheaval" working out for you?
Telling it like it is January 27, 2013 at 12:29 AM
Haven't seen many of them in this corrupt one party Democratic state. Maybe you can enlightened all of us and provide some names.
aycaramba January 27, 2013 at 01:02 AM
Well I suppose technically you should WIN first before you can be corrupted. But it's there. How about the Brown campaign dressing up and paying the homeless? Sounds corrupt to me. (http://www.nationalmemo.com/massachusetts-republicans-pay-the-homeless-to-pretend-to-support-brown/) BUT the topic here is increased taxation to pay for and improve education and transportation. I'm for it because I count on both. I don't think the Governor is corrupt for or by suggesting it--in any case, you haven't proved that. And clearly there is not only one party--the Republicans are so vocal they leave no doubt as to their existence. It is THEIR job to convince more people that they have anything interesting to offer. So far, not so much.
Indiana January 27, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Nothing better than union trolls hiding behind the children as usual - if only it was about better education - it is about the unions and nothing else.
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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