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Massachusetts advocate groups back Baker’s tax relief budget plan

Several advocate groups are backing Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed budget.

The governor announced his $700 million comprehensive tax relief plan will benefit low-income households, working families, renters, and seniors all while making the state more competitive in the economy.

“With residents and families continuing to face rising costs, Massachusetts should take action and pass tax cuts that will reduce costs and give taxpayers a break,” Baker said in a release. “Revenues continue to exceed expectations, so it’s time to give some of this surplus revenue back to taxpayers. We look forward to working with our partners in the Legislature to put more money into the pockets of our hard-working families and residents.”

Advocates cited rising costs for families due to inflation and the state continuing to “exceed tax revenue projections” while urging the Legislature to “give taxpayers a break” and adopt Baker’s proposal.

Baker was joined at the event by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. Advocates attending the meeting included Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation; Amy Pitter, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Society of CPAs; Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts; John Regan, president of Associated Industries of Massachusetts; and Carolyn Ryan, senior vice president of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

“MTF’s mission is about fiscal stability for the Commonwealth and positioning Massachusetts for long-term economic growth and opportunity for all,” McAnneny said in the release. “The Baker Administration’s tax package achieves both and that is why it has MTF’s full support. Not only is it affordable, but it provides relief to our residents while signaling that Massachusetts is choosing to compete for the people and talent that are so critical to our future economic vitality.”

According to the release, the state is facing a “strong fiscal picture” and currently has a $5 billion surplus in its coffers. For the first few months of 2022, the state reports it continues to exceed tax revenue projections. In January, revenues bested projections by $856 million, $293 million in February, and $427 million in March.

“State revenue collections have far exceeded expectations for the second year in row,” Regan said. “The Commonwealth should return a portion of that windfall to assist taxpayers burdened by inflation and to stimulate the economy. Governor Baker’s plan spreads the relief throughout the economy and is an equitable tax proposal.”

Under the proposed plan, the Senior Circuit Breaker Credit will be doubled in an attempt to lower the tax burden for more than 100,000 low-income homeowners over the age of 65. An increase in the rental deduction cap from $3,000 to $5,000 will enable 881,000 residents to keep $77 million annually, according to the release.

The plan would also double the dependent care credit to $480 for one qualifying individual and $960 for two or more to benefit 700,000 families.

The document would also increase the adjusted gross income levels for “no tax status” to $12,500 for single taxpayers, $24,800 for joint filers, and $18,650 for head of households. The move, according to the release, would eliminate income tax for 234,000 low-income families.

This article was originally posted on Massachusetts advocate groups back Baker’s tax relief budget plan

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