The Associated Press

57 Mass. Economists Back Patrick’s Tax Hike

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposal to raise the state income tax rate to pay for investments in transportation and education has been endorsed by a group of more than 50 economists.

The economists, who come from public and private universities around Massachusetts, said in a statement on Monday that the investments are critical to the state’s long-term economic health. They added that the income tax is the most equitable way to raise the revenue needed for transportation and education.

Patrick has called for hiking the state income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent, while doubling the personal exemption and eliminating dozens of itemized deductions. He also wants to lower the sales tax.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo said last week he favored a “significantly smaller” tax hike.

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