Governor's $34.8B State Budget Boosts Education Aid

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Gov. Deval Patrick on Thursday proposed a $34.8 billion state budget. Photo Credit: John Swinconeck (file photo)

BOSTON, Mass. — Gov. Deval Patrick on Thursday proposed a $34.8 billion state budget that increases local aid and funding for transportation and education while also calling for new or higher taxes on candy, soda and cigarettes.

The Fiscal Year 2014 budget is a 6.9 percent increase over the current year and the local aid figures will shape local discussions as towns begin budget season.

“This is a growth budget that makes investments in education and transportation to grow jobs in the near term and strengthen our commonwealth in the long term,” Patrick said. “Each of us has a stake in promoting opportunity and prosperity throughout the commonwealth, and each of us should contribute to improving it. And the number of new reforms we have also proposed continues our work to improve government performance and achieve savings.”

Patrick's tax increases were outlined last week in his State of the Commonwealth address. Income tax would increase from  5.25 percent to 6.25 percent and the sales tax would fall from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent. Several income tax deductions would be eliminated. The gas tax would be tied to inflation, and MBTA fares, Mass Pike tolls and Registry of Motor Vehicle fees would also increase.

The budget now passes to the state legislature. Here are the figures for Central Mass. towns:

Chapter 70 (education) funding

  • Auburn $8,826,103, an increase of $883,283;
  • Grafton $10,422,782, an increase of $1,427,016;
  • Leicester $9,493,437, an increase of  $42,450;
  • Milford $21,149,937, an increase of $2,415,328;
  • Millbury $7,177,867, an increase of $538,997;
  • Northborough $3,668,085, an increase of $46,100;
  • Northbridge $15,261,313, an increase of $175,032;
  • Shrewsbury $18,897,213, an increase of $148,750;
  • Southborough $2,744,686, an increase of $34,050;
  • Upton $19,228, an increase of $6,272;
  • Westborough $5,596,506, an increase of $1,121,051;
  • Northborough-Southborough Regional School District $2,974,671, an increase of $135,807;
  • Mendon-Upton Regional School District $12,014,906, an increase of $60,450;
  • Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical School $8,253,509, an increase of $340,356;
  • Assabet Valley Regional Vocational Technical School $4,023,025, an increase of $334,275.

Unrestricted general government aid (level-funded from 2013)

  • Auburn $1,448,540
  • Grafton $1,322,498
  • Leicester $1,468,595
  • Milford $2,583,471
  • Millbury $1,497,772
  • Northborough $943,470
  • Northbridge $1,785,406
  • Shrewsbury $2,356,176
  • Southborough $369,948
  • Upton $450,325
  • Westborough $980,165
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