Mass. group wants $2B tax hike; higher income tax

Mass. group wants $2B tax hike, including raising income tax to 5.95 percent, to avoid cuts

BOSTON (AP) -- A coalition of unions, service groups and municipal officials is calling on Gov. Deval Patrick and Massachusetts lawmakers to back a hike in the state income tax to help fend off budget cuts.

The group is pushing for an increase in the state income tax from 5.25 percent to 5.95 percent while also increasing the personal exemption they said would ease the burden on low- and middle-income residents.

The group also wants higher tax rates on investment income.

The group — including the Massachusetts Teachers Union, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and several city councils and select boards — said the plan will raise about $2 billion to improve schools, repair infrastructure and expand economic development.

In 2000, Massachusetts voters endorsed a plan to lower the income tax rate to 5 percent.