State of the State Speech

Governor Patrick gave a succinct state of the state speech this evening. He spoke mainly about the importance of upgrading our transportation and education systems and said that “since we all have a stake in the future, we should all be willing to invest in it now.” To fund that investment, he proposed two things. First was to cut the existing sales tax from 6.25% to 4.5% and to use the entire amount collected from the sales tax to fund transportation. To make up for that cut, he also proposes increasing the income tax from the current 5.25% to 6.25% and to dedicate the full amount of the increase to education. The governor closed by saying “Let’s have a serious, respectful, fact-based debate on this proposal” adding that the citizens of the Commonwealth want improved transportation and education, so we must find a way to pay for it.

While I didn’t note the exact language he used, Governor Patrick made it clear that as he begins the final two years of his service, he wants to leave behind something lasting and important which is why he is tackling this controversial topic at the same time in his governorship that most of his predecessors had either resigned or were plotting a campaign for another office.

5 Responses to State of the State Speech

  1. Joe S says:

    He proposed a strategic change to tax policy rather than just nipping at the edges.

    But unless health care costs are under control, all line items will be continually stressed with cuts.

  2. Renee Aste says:

    The positive aspect with income tax vs. a property tax, was that the state got more when we got more income. Our income has been ‘stable’ and the cost of everything has gone up, so yes this 1% increase will have an impact. I didn’t mind paying 5%, it was reasonable and back in the day it was a sweet deal, but everyone was making good money in comparison tot he cost of living.

    We can spend more on education, but there is only so much an educator can do. Domestic stability means everything, and parents working with teachers. You’re not making domestic life stable, if we’re chipping away at the little we have.

    I was at a school event at the McAuliffe School for my youngest last night. It was family activity ‘to learn how to read to you child’ and the children could pick up gently used books to bring home. While I understand not every family could make it, I felt the participation rate was low for a free event in which we got free books. And the parents who came, we’re already involved.

  3. Renee Aste says:

    Raise it to 6.25, but give parents/individuals a tax break back to 5.25 if they volunteer their time in a school that needs help (not just any school). If it is about education and the students at most risk that could help.

  4. Jack Mitchell says:

    I’m okay with this tax shuffle. Obama gave me a break, permanently. Well, as long as I stay below $400K (#firstworldproblems)

    So now, Deval takes a small bite out of what Obama left behind, but lowers sales tax to incentivize consumer spending.?

    MA has to offset the diminished federal funding somehow. It is state controlled tax, so it stays local. We live in a “Gateway City,” meaning we are a “taker town,” not a “donor.” Yep. I’m good.

  5. Joe S says:

    The lower sales tax rate may up consumer spending a bit, but it may also make the trip to NH less inviting, a potential benefit to local businesses.