Will Patrick's $1.9 Billion Tax Hike Pass?
The governor's optimistic but state legislators don't sound so sure. Does the education funding included in the plan for Swampscott sway your thoughts about the budget?
Governor Deval Patrick is still bullish about his budget proposal, which will raise $1.9 billion in new revenue through an increase in the income tax, decrease in the sales tax, and other changes to taxes, fees and deductions.
The budget also includes a local aid proposal that would bring Swampscott to the long promised 17.5 percent of foundation funding — the minimum amount needed to educate students in a town.
Without that 17.5 percent of foundation funding, Swampscott school officials say they will have to reduce the number of teachers, increase class sizes and cut librarians, and take other cost-trimming actions.
Under Gov. Deval Patrick's Fiscal Year 2014 budget Swampscott would receive $3.47 million in Chapter 70 funding. That's up $700,000 from the $2.77 million Swampscott was allotted in Fiscal Year 2013.
Chapter 70 is the total state funding for K-12 public schools in Massachusetts.
In fact, the governor's plan would fund all towns and cities in the state to at least the 17.5 percent threshold.
But the men and women who have to pass the bill don't sound as eager to support a package many see as a politically-damaging measure.
The Boston Herald quotes several Beacon Hill legislators who sounded notes of caution to outright opposition to the budget. Those quoted cited the 1990 election losses in the wake of an income tax increase, pressure on small businesses and the higher price of gas as reasons they were skeptical. And the governor's new web tools touting proposed transportation and education projects in specific political districts hasn't done much to warm the waters, according to the Herald.
What do you think? Is the governor's budget dead on arrival, or does he have a shot at getting it passed? Would you pass this budget if you were a state senator? Does the state need the additional revenue or should it learn to live with the money it already collects? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!