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July 25, 2013

Legislators override Patrick veto, raise taxes

(Continued)

Funding from the proposal is to be spent on state funding to cities and towns for road and bridge work, the Department of Transportation, the MBTA and the regional transit systems.

Supporters of the plan argued the increased funding is needed to clear the backlog of road, bridge and rail projects, improve the state’s transportation capital planning and to add funding to transportation agencies that run deficits and fund basic outlays, such as payroll, with borrowed money.

Patrick vetoed that bill because he said the new revenue is too low to meet the state’s transportation needs and the proposal did not address a potential end to tolls on the Massachusetts Turnpike west of Route 128. That veto, which put into question the new funding, led Patrick to strip millions of dollars of local aid from the budget.

The Legislature also overrode those cuts to local aid.

Since Patrick proposed $1.9 billion in new annual taxes in January, Democrats on Beacon Hill have balked, pushing back by crafting their own, smaller package of taxes. Republicans have steadfastly opposed any new revenue.

Patrick’s original proposal would have dedicated about $1 billion of the new revenue to transportation, with the remainder going to education.

State House News Service contributed to this report.

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