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 on 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 went 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.

OldTownie January 24, 2013 at 06:34 PM
I've responded to your question, now can you respond to mine? Are you a contributor or a taker?
ron johnson January 24, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Steve, Because the average American voter is an economic illiterate. All they heard was that the problems in the economy were caused by those greedy wall street types and they should pay their fair share, a little bit more. Unfortunately Romney could not get out of his own way. No one wants to cut spending if they are going to suffer as the result of the cut.
Ed Canney January 24, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Kevin, you have described it correctly. The North Reading SSBC continually refers to the MSBC as an excuse for cost over runs. " We are following their protocols". But at the end of the day, the local property tax payer foots the bill. Patrick promotes new school building to keep the unions employed (the North Reading project are union contractors). He promises 50+% reimbursement. But its never even comes close to that number! Its bait & switch. North Reading(w/aid from Rep. Jones) got sucked into this nightmare. An 11% annual tax increase for 25 years!! But now they are $12M short, and proposed an additional tax hike. Its pure madness. And unless there is a public outcry, there will be more of the same. Very sad that we have local & State government basically use our homes for equity loans. But that''s what they're doing.
Cecil Moore January 24, 2013 at 06:51 PM
Sam, Tyler just added credibility to your assertion. You are right.
OldTownie January 24, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Still won't answer Steven? I think we all guessed that you were a taker, just admit it.
ron johnson January 24, 2013 at 07:07 PM
And people buying houses they could not afford and getting forclosed had nothing to do with it either.
ron johnson January 24, 2013 at 07:10 PM
And by the way, everyone can agree that Romney's comment was poorly thought out and can be attacked. It was dumb. However the basic premise remains, too many people who voted for EW and Obama voted based upon a easy way out, all our problems were caused by rich people who are greedy and are taking advantage of the system.
OldTownie January 24, 2013 at 07:32 PM
You still don't get it. Members of the military are providing a service to this country at well below market rates. They are not 'takers', they are contributors. What service are you providing society in return for your take? You really have no shame when you try group yourself with the man and women that serve.
ron johnson January 24, 2013 at 08:37 PM
Steve, who said they were admired and no one made them sign up for a mortgage they could not afford. I am always amazed by the logic, who made them do it, were they dragged off the street and told to buy the house, if you want assign greed I would say it takes two people to complete the transaction. If no one wanted to buy the house and sign the no doc loans there would not have been a market. Mean while the buyer is in a house they could not afford and they knew it, but were more than happy to take advantage of the process. Steve keep talking and maybe you will convince yourself they each one of the poor home buyers were not innocent bystanders.
ron johnson January 24, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Steve, First of all please read carefully, I said, it takes two people. Also, no one is comparing this too getting mugged. If you actually knew how a foreclosure worked maybe your opinion would have value. In many cases there was no downpayment, and it may take as long as a year to get someone out of the house which in many cases is trashed as well. The person again in many cases may not pay any mortgage payments for up to a year and thus live in the house rent free and pay nothing in taxes as well as no mortgage payments. As far as promotions, really? and yes the person handling the mortgage got a commission. My point remains, many people bought houses they could not afford and knew they could not. To compare this to a person who is mugged walking down the street just shows how desperate you are to try and make a point. I am tired of people who refuse to admit that sometimes there is another side to the equation.
paul surette January 24, 2013 at 11:48 PM
Agreed, Ron. All too often, foreclosures were the result of someone taking on a mortgage they could not afford! And most of those folks, just play the system. Malden is full of distressed properties like that.And I'm sorry, Steve....but I think that whole 'predatory' lender is a smokescreen to hide blame where it belonged in the first place! If you WILLINGLY agree and endorse the terms, whether or not Mr. Lender charged you an exorbitant amount of fees, then that's on Y-O-U! These people had a choice, now they have to live with it...END OF STORY! The moral to this story is a simple one....don't write a check that your ass can't cash!
david mokal January 24, 2013 at 11:58 PM
The loan apps were fudged so that it looked like the buyer coulkd afford it. The real eastate people were promising thet the roll over would be tremendouse and they could turn the house and make a large profeit. Odviously it could not happen. Remember the banks used to be very strict at one time.
paul surette January 25, 2013 at 12:33 AM
Mr. Cavaretta, all too often, I try and engage people on the internet, by using some sort of civility. Most times I'm successful in doing that. I thought my last response had accomplished that. Clearly, I was wrong to assume that, so I'm just going to say this....this will be my last response to you on anything here, because, clearly, my attempt at being civil to you was, sadly, an exercise in futility. You, sir, can take your origination documents, and politely shove them up your ass! Good day, sir!
SomervilleGirl January 25, 2013 at 01:33 AM
Ron, There are reasons why the public has not been told the real truth about the mortgage scams. Do you know why that is? Take a guess? I'll give you the quick answer--because it became open season on real estate owned by the middle class who had lots of equity. Can't have that--"let's figure out a way to steal from the people who worked to keep what they deserved". Those who gained: Developers, Realtors, Towns, Lawyers, Mortgage Brokers and WS cohorts--the banks who were never losing money. They would flip the loans at warp speed and make thousands each time. They never sold the homes to first home buyers as promised, instead they would foreclose, then sell the home back to themselves at huge discounts. Many homeowners lost everything--forced into bankruptcy, credit down the tubes, IRS and DOR after them, retirement was used to help them to survive. Some lawyers were helping homeowners and testifying, "they were suppose to be professional and ethical in their practice as broker/lender"--but somehow they made what would never be considered legal--totally acceptable because there were plenty of winners, but those were the ones crying for bailouts and got more money than they deserved. Millions of homeowners across the country--many hardworking, as investors got duped because they believe countless lies told by those who committed extortion of the worst kind. Now that money is buying up more land and property once occupied by working class. WS is Govt.
SomervilleGirl January 25, 2013 at 02:20 AM
Does anyone understand what WS has gotten away with? Did you see, "Inside Job", "Margin Call"? Some people understand the plutocracy regime which is never going to be satisfied until we are all living under one big slum lord. Could they possibly cause any more civil unrest than we already have? The only thing they fear is exposure of the truth, but what media outlet would be brave enough to walk that walk? Very few, considering the corporate world owns them as well. Unless the spineless decide to grow a backbone and demand trillions of taxpayers money be refunded back to the U.S. Treasury, along with trillions of tax evaded off shore accounts, the middle class will keep paying for the crimes of corporate raiders and freeloaders. So you don't like people on welfare, but you prefer corporate welfare? Is that because they have increased your 401k by 400% this month? Are you keeping a close eye on those numbers? How much have your investments earned over the past 5 years? Do you have enough for retirement? Well, don't hold your breath. They made sure all our investments are now failed investments--our homes being the greatest losses of all. Didn't the same occur in the 30's? Why are you surprised? It's really simple--they have armies of lawyers to keep them from being prosecuted and they are using our tax dollars to save them from life without parole. How does that make you feel?
SomervilleGirl January 25, 2013 at 02:27 AM
"Homes underwater"? That is a pretty funny comment. All of our homes are underwater even those which are paid for--They will continue to keep taking away from those who have it. So just keep that check book handy. What's next?
ron johnson January 25, 2013 at 01:35 PM
Steve, I am sorrry but you are the one who has no idea what you are talking about. There are mortgages that have no points and if it is underwritten no closing costs. I realize you may seem smart throwing a bunch of jargon out there but it has nothing to do with the fact that when the person sitting at the closing table is buying a house they can not afford and they know it. If they willingly go along with the process that did not require income verification then they are part of the scam. I also know by your comments that you do not know how a foreclosure works. I am ont confusing anything.
ron johnson January 25, 2013 at 01:57 PM
How, do you lose your house if you make your payments on time ever month?
Jake January 25, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Congrats, S. Nelson on your payraise. I assume you are one of the 'millilnaires and billionaires' who earn over $250,000, hence the tax increase......
Gene Pinkham January 25, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Anyone else notice they don't run DiTech ads on TV anymore?
paul surette January 25, 2013 at 08:11 PM
Excellent points, Irene
Vincent DiRico February 02, 2013 at 01:04 AM
Irene, you hit it out of the park!!!!! Mike queue the crickets loop! The state’s embattled welfare chief was forced to step down yesterday in the wake of a shocking internal report that found that a staggering 47,000 families receiving taxpayer-funded benefits are unaccounted for — and nearly $30 million in food stamp money went to recipients who were not eligible. The shocking report, found that the Department of Transitional Assistance has lost track of 47,087 households on welfare — or one out of 10 of the total 478,000 who received DTA mailings.
Mike February 02, 2013 at 03:27 AM
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then.
Vincent DiRico February 02, 2013 at 01:36 PM
misinformation, facts, double down, ... seems "low information" to me,...
John February 02, 2013 at 02:34 PM
how can your mortgage be underwater if you don't have a mortgage (as in, the mortgage is paid off)?
Southpaw March 01, 2013 at 07:12 PM
I heard (on the news) what you heard. No one said anything about "...roughly 7,700...." Mike should know this...if he watches the news. P.S. we should get rid of welfare, period, IMO. Sick of these leeches.
Southpaw March 01, 2013 at 07:16 PM
So what? Is that supposed to make people feel good? He wants to raise every other tax he can think of. Love the proposed "mileage" tax....yeah, let's make people PAY for driving their own car that they bought with their own money. WTF? The guy's a jack a**. He won't be happy until he drives the middle class into the ground.
Southpaw March 01, 2013 at 07:19 PM
He's Obama's buddy. They want to give everything away to the ones who don't deserve it and make us pay for it. Illegals should get NOTHING from us. They should also be sent back where they came from....right back under the rock they crawled out of.
John Intorcio March 01, 2013 at 07:21 PM
>>> Is that because they have increased your 401k by 400% this month? Can I get in on this? My 401k is not doing anywhere near that well.
Southpaw March 01, 2013 at 07:21 PM
President? I shudder the thought. Can't imagine anyone would vote for this jack a**. I will pray he can't even make it to the ballot. Would love to punch that smirk off his face....that he wears all the time.


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