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Patrick Files $34.8 Billion Budget Proposal

The plan submitted on Wednesday focuses on investments in transportation and education while calling for an income tax increase coupled with a lower sales tax.

In submitting his $34.8 billion budget to the state legislature on Wednesday, Governor Deval Patrick said the proposed income tax hike is part of a comprehensive package aimed at investing in the state's infrastructure and in driving growth.

The proposal asks for an increase in the income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent coupled with a reduction in the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent. It also doubles personal exemptions. 

Despite the proposed income tax hike, Patrick said that low- and modest-income workers will pay less in taxes under his proposal, and only the "more fortunate see a larger increase."

"I do not submit this proposal lightly. I understand that many households in Massachusetts continue to struggle from the impact of the Great Recession, but I am confident that investing meaningful in education and transportation today will significantly improve and expand job growth and economic opportunity tomorrow," he said.

Patrick's budget calls for a total investment of $6.79 billion in education next year, with $131 million going toward early education, $226 million in Chapter 70 local aid, and $152 million toward making college more affordable and accessible.

In transportation funding, Patrick is asking for a $13 billion capital investment over 10 years, including money to repair roads and create a public transportation system that is modern and reliable.

"This is what the people of the commonwealth have asked for," he said. "Ask any of the folks who were outside in the cold at Arlington Street today whether they want those kinds of investments. They totally get this."

The $34.8 billion budget reflects a 6.9 percent increase from last year and would create $828 million in new revenue. 

Still, Patrick said, many programs—including some for seniors—will not get the funding that many people want. And "hardly any line item is back at the pre-recession level."

Joseph January 24, 2013 at 01:36 PM
"Despite the proposed income tax hike, Patrick said that low- and modest-income workers will pay less in taxes under his proposal, and only the "more fortunate see a larger increase." Work your a$$ to get into college, pay off your student loans, work 12hrs+ a day for years so you can further your career, only to be penalized for being "more fortunate." More fortunate? Being more fortunate takes years of hard work you freakin a$$ clown!! You can't even spend my tax dollars wisely as it is!! Yeah, Governor Dumbass, that makes a lot a sense. In a state (Commonwealth) where some of the best colleges in the country are located, why would want to scare that talent away? Makes a lot of sense. But then again, as soon as your term is up, you'll be leaving this state anyways for greener pastures, right? To sum it up, if you're lazy and milk your paycheck from the government, never working an honest days work in your entire life, you'll never have to pay anything. Work your a$$ off and this is what you get - supporting these lazy bastards. Where is the outrage?
Gerald Robbins January 25, 2013 at 10:30 AM
Joseph's comments are completely inappropriate. Please remove them from you website.
Joseph January 25, 2013 at 01:34 PM
You tell me one sentence I said that was inappropriate there Gerald Robbins? The fact that you find his tax plan acceptable tells me plenty about you.

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