(NECN) - Mass. Governor Deval Patrick fielded a lot of questions and push back about his controversial tax plan he announced during his State of the State address.
On Wednesday, Governor Patrick proposed increasing the state income tax by 1 percent to 6.25 percent and decreasing the state's sales tax to 4.5 percent.
"We in this line of work do a lousy job connecting up what people pay to what they get, and one of the reasons why I'm so keen that the revenue we raise be dedicated particularly in the case of transportation is so that we can show people a way to track what they have paid in this reduced sales tax and the projects they are getting and the improvements they are getting in service," Patrick said. "But I think also that it's never a good time to ask people, it's never a good time, but there are things we can do now, sacrifices we can make as a Commonwealth now that make our here and now better but also make our tomorrow terrific."
Republican lawmakers are critical of the plan, and House GOP leader Brad Jones says Patrick should have proposed the tax hikes when he was running for re-election in 2010.
Patrick has an answer though for his critics' use of the label his proposal as a return to "Taxachusetts"
"This business of 'Taxachusetts' is dead and over," Patrick said. "We are no longer at the top of the heap, and after the proposals that I have made are accepted, we'll be right in a competitive space and that's a condition for my own analysis and what I will accept."
Governor Patrick also touched on the upcoming special election in Massachusetts, the Aaron Swartz case and the National Rifle Association's new ad using President Barack Obama's children.