Professor Randy Albelda, director of the economics graduate program at UMass Boston, is a co-author of the statement issued by 57 Massachusetts economists on Monday expressing support for Governor Deval Patrick’s plan to raise the state’s income tax.
Patrick’s state budget recommendations for fiscal 2014 include a variety of tax changes that would produce an additional $1.9 billion in annual revenue, according to The Boston Globe. Patrick says the money is needed to increase investment in public higher education and the state’s aging transportation system.
“As economists, we believe that these investments are critical to improving the long-term economic strength of our state,” the statement reads. “We also realize that these goals cannot be attained without additional state revenue. “
The proposal has drawn opposition because it would raise the state’s income tax by about 20 percent, to 6.25 percent. In a corresponding move, the sales tax would be decreased by 28 percent. Economists call this approach “progressive taxation.”
“That means that the people who can most afford to pay for these things are the ones who bear a bit more of the burden,” Albelda said in an interview.
Fifty-seven economists signed the statement, including 13 from UMass Boston. They were joined by economists from across the UMass system and colleagues from Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University, Merrimack College, Northeastern University, Smith College, MIT, Tufts University, and more.
The UMass Boston economists who co-signed the statement were Jim Campen, Kade Finnoff, Michael P. Johnson, Marlene Kim, Charalampos Konstantinidis, Catherine Lynde, Arthur MacEwan, Julie Nelson, Peter Spiegler, Mary Huff Stevenson, David Terkla, and Christian Weller.