BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick has asked the Legislature to hike the state’s income tax from the current 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent, while also calling for a reduction in the state sales tax.
In his annual state of the state address on Wednesday, the governor said the proposed changes would help support $2 billion in new spending on transportation and education.
While raising the income tax rate a full percentage point, Patrick also said he would call for doubling the personal exemption and eliminating some itemized deductions to make the tax code fairer.
Patrick acknowledged that while there is never a good time to raise taxes, he would not do so unless he believed that investing in education and transportation would significantly improve the state’s economy.
The governor called for a respectful debate of his proposals by lawmakers who sat in silence through most of them.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports
“I think that’s a sign of the Democratic legislators’ response to what is now going to be the biggest tax increase,” said House Minority Leader Brad Jones (R).
“We’ll be hearing plenty from my constituents,” said Senate President Therese Murray (D). “That’s what every governor does. He threw long, and you know maybe we’ll meet him somewhere down the road.”
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