Mass. Lawmakers Face Tough Budget Questions

BOSTON (AP) — The debate over taxes and spending on Beacon Hill is approaching a critical juncture.

Leaders of the House of Representatives are expected to release a transportation financing plan in the coming days, but it remains to be seen how much and what kind of new revenues lawmakers will seek.

Gov. Deval Patrick has offered a $1.9 billion tax plan to fund transportation and education initiatives. His proposal calls for hiking the state income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent, accompanied by a reduction in the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo has said publicly that he would prefer a smaller overall tax hike.

DeLeo has said he expects the transportation plan to include enough new funding for the MBTA to head off another round of potential are hikes or service cuts.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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