As the state continues to digest Gov. Deval Patrick’s budget, one local elected official has called the $34.8 billion proposal “gutsy.”
“Like everyone, I am still digesting the details of the Governor’s proposal," Sonia Chang-Díaz, senator for the 2nd Suffolk District, emailed to Jamaica Plain Patch Friday afternoon. "But in its broad strokes, I think it’s both gutsy and sensible that the Governor is prompting an adult conversation across the Commonwealth about how we pay for the things our communities need and that we know work. It’s much needed.”
Patrick’s proposal, submitted Jan. 23, 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.
The budget also 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.
Despite the proposed income tax hike, Patrick says 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," he said Jan. 23. "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."