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Thomson ReutersMass gov signs budget with a 25 pct sales tax hike 06.29.09, 06:51 PM EDT BOSTON, June 29 (Reuters) - Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on Monday signed into law a $27 billion fiscal 2010 budget that includes a 25 percent sales tax hike, effectively ending a months-long standoff between the governor and legislators.

'By making thoughtful, careful decisions, we have protected services for the most vulnerable and made investments for the long-term in education and health care so that we're ready when the (economic) upswing comes,' Patrick said in a statement.

Article Controlsemailreprintnewslettercommentssharedel.icio.usDigg It!yahooFacebookTwitterrss The sales tax increase, which hikes the rate to 6.125 percent from 5 percent and will take effect on Aug.

1, provides the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority with $100 million, allowing it to avoid toll hikes.

The Turnpike Authority is going to be absorbed under a new Department of Transportation, under a transportation reform bill that Patrick signed on Friday.

The new department oversee the Commonwealth's highways, mass transit and aeronautics and will have bonding capabilities secured by toll revenues.

As part of the new budget, Patrick vetoed $147 million in line items he said were unaffordable and $217 million for county corrections.

The budget also includes over $4 billion for education funding and $70 million to continue state-subsidized health.

Read All Comments To close a fiscal 2010 $5.1 billion budget gap, Patrick instituted $2.4 billion in spending reductions and borrowed $214 million from the state's rainy day fund among other measures.

Massachusetts' fiscal year begins on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Kevin McNicholas, writing by Tom Ryan; Editing by Leslie Adler) Keywords: MASSACHUSETTS BUDGET/ ([email protected]; +1-646-223-6826; Reuters Messaging: [email protected])COPYRIGHTCopyright Thomson Reuters 2009.

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