Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is campaigning for a big tax hike. Patrick is making the case that more revenue is needed to pay for things people say they want and need.
Governor Deval Patrick, during a recent swing through western Massachusetts, pressed the case for raising taxes to invest in education and transportation infrastructure. Patrick met with students and faculty in a machinists training program at Springfield Technical Community College. The program prepares people to work in the precision manufacturing sector.
Many of the 100 students currently enrolled the program at STCC receive tuition assistance from the state’s MASSGrant program. Patrick’s proposed state budget would quadruple the amount of funding for the program by adding $112 million. The governor’s budget also includes $20 million in new funding for state’s community colleges.
Edward Leyden, who is president of Ben Franklin Design and Manufacturing in Agawam, and is co-chair of the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, says the state is helping to fill a desperate need by businesses that are expanding, but are losing skilled workers to retirement.
Patrick’s $34..8 billion state budget, which he unveiled last month, increases state spending by almost 7 percent over this year. To support large spending increases in primarily two areas, education and transportation, Patrick has proposed a tax increase totaling almost $2 billlion. His plan would raise the state’s income tax rate by a full percentage point, lower the sales tax by almost 25 percent , increase the gasoline tax and raise corporate taxes.
The administration’s transportation plan includes a $100 million project to rehab a 37 mile railroad corridor in the Berkshires. The improvements to tracks, signals, crossings and stations would restore passenger rail between Pittsfield and New York, and provide an economic boost according to the state’s transportation chief Richard Davey
The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce reported last week that corporate taxes in Massachusetts are the fifth highest in the country. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation , in a separate report, said Patrick’s proposed budget would increase corporate taxes by $499 million