Following calls from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to use the Commonwealth’s record budget surplus to provide tax relief to Commonwealth residents, Beacon Hill House and Senate leaders unveiled the first part of their program on Thursday. tax relief.
The proposal is a one-time refund of $250 to taxpayers who file individual tax returns and $500 to married couples who file jointly. These payments are for residents who earned between $38,000 and $100,000 individually and married couples who earned up to $150,000 jointly in 2021.
“Whether it’s the rising price of gas, groceries, or summer clothes for children, the Massachusetts legislature has heard loud and clear that rising costs due to inflation has squeezed family budgets,” Speaker Ron Mariano, Senate Speaker Karen Spilka, House Ways and Means Speaker Aaron Michlewitz and Senate Ways and Means Speaker Michael Rodrigues said in a joint statement Thursday. .
When asked why a $38,000 minimum was set for individual wage earners, Rodrigues then told WBSM that the state legislature had already approved and distributed approximately one million $500 payments to residents in low income after Governor Baker signed the $4 Billion US Bailout and Excess Tax Revenue Bill into law in December 2021, and this round of payments is aimed at middle-income earners.
Rodrigues added that the legislature is currently working on permanent tax relief for low-income people.
On Monday, Rodrigues and Beacon Hill leaders released more details of their comprehensive tax relief plan, which included an extension of the circuit breaker tax for the elderly, a credit for elderly residents who rent their homes, as well as increases to the income tax credit and child and dependent caregiver tax credits.
In June, Baker proposed a $700 million tax relief package to the state legislature after it was projected in the spring that Massachusetts tax revenue would be about $3.6 billion above their benchmark for fiscal year 2022. Spilka and Beacon Hill legislative leaders had guaranteed both houses would pass tax relief in July following the completion of the fiscal year 2023 budget.
While House and Senate leaders said in their joint statement Monday that the details of the package still need to be worked out, the scope of their proposal exceeds Baker’s $700 million figure to total about $1 billion in relief for Commonwealth residents.
Rodrigues told WBSM that more details on the full tax relief package will be released before the end of the July 31 legislative session.
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