BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority has eliminated a plannedtoll hike hours before Gov. Deval Patrick signs a state budget thatincludes a 25 percent hike in the state sales tax.
The Turnpike board met Monday morning and approved a budgetthat relies on $100 million from the sales tax increase rather thana planned toll hike set to take effect July 1.
Patrick is scheduled to sign the $27.4 billion spending planMonday afternoon in his Statehouse office.
The budget makes steep cuts to service and slashes aid tocities and towns.
It also includes the biggest broad-based tax increase in twodecades -- a measure that would increase the state sales tax from 5percent to 6.25 percent.
The tax hike will also help the Massachusetts BayTransportation Authority close a $160 million budget gap.
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