Economists Support Mass. Tax Hike, Shift

Income taxes would increase, but sales taxes would drop


A group of more than 50 economists will voice their support Monday for Governor Deval Patrick's plan to increase Massachusetts's income tax, saying that chronic underfunding of the state's education and transportation systems has threatened future prosperity.

"We believe there needs to be a significant increase in investment to make sure we remain economically competitive," said Barry Bluestone, director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, one of the 57 economists who signed the statement backing the governor's plan.

The governor's proposal, which would generate an additional $1.9 billion annually, raises the income tax from 5.25 to 6.25 percent, while cutting the sales tax from 6.25 to 4.5 percent.