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Western Mass. Reacts to Governor Patrick’s Income Tax Hike Request

People-Deval Patrick2(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) (WGGB)–Governor Patrick unveiled an ambitious plan to fund transportation and education during his State of the State speech on Wednesday night.

The governor  proposes a 1.9 billion dollar tax increase to invest in transportation  and education.

To raise revenue, the governor is proposing a one percent increase in the state income tax and a decrease in the sales tax.

For example for someone earning 50-thousand dollars a year, you’d pay an additional 500 dollars in income taxes.

But the governor is also proposing to double the personal exemption .

Doug Theobald, a partner with the accounting firm of Moriarty & Primack, P.C.  says doubling the personal exemption would help offset an increase in the state income tax.

For example, with an income of 30-thousand dollars, doubling the personal exemption would negate that increase in the income tax,”Right now the personal exemption per person is around 45-hundred dollars and that’s going to be worth another 275 dollars in a deduction for that individual if he doubles that exemption so that will offset some of the tax increase he’s proposing,” says Theobald.

Governor Patrick’s proposal to increase the state income tax and reduce the sales tax needs legislative approval and legislators will be taking a long, hard look at the governor’s proposal .

For Republicans like State senator Michael Knapik, it’s a tough sell,”I think the economic times we continue to struggle through are such that that kind of bite out of people’s paychecks is probably too severe at this point in time,” says Knapik.

Republican State Representatine Don Humason on Westfield is also against the governor’s tax increase proposal,” I remember remarking I’m not sure what planet the governor was from where he talks about increasing taxes at a time our recession so to speak is not over.” says Humason.

And Democrats like State Senator James Welch of West Springfield say the revenue discussion is just beginning,”I‘m cautious right now in terms of my approach to the proposal, just like anything I try to keep an open mind, there will be a serious discussion about revenues, that’s for sure,” says Welch.

Welch says in the end he’s not sure the governor’s proposal as it stands now will move forward.