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.