Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has asked the Legislature for $1.9 billion in new taxes to support major new spending on transportation and education.

In his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature, Patrick called for hiking the state income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent, while doubling the personal exemption for all taxpayers and eliminating dozens of itemized deductions.

But he also called for reducing the state sales tax from the current 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent. He said the changes would make the state's tax code fairer and more progressive, while also keeping Massachusetts competitive with most neighboring states.

Patrick acknowledged there's never a good time to raise taxes, but said he wouldn't do so unless he believed investing in education and transportation would significantly improve the state's economy.