“There is no good time to raise taxes,” Patrick declared in a 24-minute speech in the House chamber that struck a confident tone. “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.”
Today Governor Deval Patrick unveiled a new tax plan for the state of Massachusetts during the State of the Commonwealth address. The progressive plan called for raise the state income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent while cutting the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent.
All sales-tax revenue would then be dedicated to a public works program that would broaden rail service from the Berkshires to Cape Cod, build schools, stabilize the beleaguered MBTA, and repair crumbling roads and bridges.
Average taxpayers who earn less than $37,523 would see a $100-to-$200 tax cut, everyone else would pay higher taxes. Those who earn more than $102,886 would bear the brunt, paying an additional $3,200 a year in combined income and sales taxes.
For those in between, the change would be less dramatic. Taxpayers who earn $37,523 to $60,414 a year would pay $100 more, while those who earn $60,414 to $102,886 would pay $400 more. Also, the tax code would be simplified.
Patrick is confident that his plan will lead Massachusetts in to the future.