Senate ratifies $590M tax relief plan



(The Center Square) – The Massachusetts Senate has ratified a bill designed to provide tax relief to residents.

The Senate unanimously approved the $590 million Tax Relief bill, designed to support low- and middle-income earners and cut away at threats to the state’s competitiveness. The plan will invest in housing, dependent care, and estate tax assistance.

The fiscal document is designed to give relief to Massachusetts residents through fiscal responsibility. The package aims to provide financial relief to renters, seniors, and parents struggling with early education costs and increase housing production.

Senate President Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, said the plan would benefit workers, families, and elderly residents.

“Massachusetts doesn’t need just any tax relief; we need permanent, progressive, smart, and sustainable tax relief,” Spilka said in a statement. “Too many families have been caught between the rising costs of health care, housing, education, and basic goods.”

However, the National Federation of Independent Businesses said the Senate’s tax relief plan didn’t hit the mark in a post to Twitter.

MA legislature needs to think bigger when considering tax relief. With so many people fleeing the state (including #smallbiz ) lawmakers must work to make MA a more attractive place to do biz & create jobs. #mapoli #mabiz— NFIB Massachusetts (@nfib_ma) June 15, 2023

Sen. Michael J. Rodrigues, D-Westport, who chairs the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, said the tax relief plan is a “deliberative and practical approach to tax relief” for Massachusetts families.

“Consistent with the views of the Senate membership, our Senate tax package is forward-looking, fiscally sustainable, comprehensive, and progressive,” Rodrigues said in a statement. “It puts money back into the pockets of our residents, providing permanent tax cuts for low-income workers, families, renters, seniors, persons with disabilities while focusing on the largest issue that is undercutting our commonwealth’s overall competitiveness – which is the affordability and availability of housing.”

Under the tax relief plan, according to a release, the earned income tax credit would be raised to 40% of the federal credit, up from 30%, and existing credits would be merged into new and enhanced Child and Dependent Tax Credit while increasing the credit to $310 per child or dependent. The current credit is $180 and capped at two dependents.

According to a release, the tax plan would also increase the cap for the Housing Development Incentive Program to $57 million from $10 million on a one-time basis and set the cap at $30 million each year.

The plan would also increase the rental deduction to $4,000 from $3,000. It would also raise the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to $60 million from $40 million to support affordable housing creation.

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