By Bob Katzen
The House 154-0, approved and sent to the Senate a $4.2 billion economic development package. The bill provides $500 million one-time tax rebates to an estimated 2 million eligible people. A $250 rebate would go, by September 30, to individual taxpayers and a $500 rebate to married taxpayers. Eligibility will be determined by annual income reported in 2021, with the minimum income required to be $38,000, and the maximum $100,000 for individual filers and $150,000 for joint filers.
Beginning in 2023, several permanent tax reductions would take effect including increasing the Child and Dependent Care Credit from $180 per child to $310 per child, as well as eliminating the current cap of $360 for two or more children; increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit from 30 percent to 40 percent of the federal credit; increasing the Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit from $750 to $1,755; increasing the rental deduction cap from $3,000 to $4,000; and increasing the estate tax threshold from $1 million to $2 million.
The measure would break new ground for the Massachusetts Lottery by allowing it to sell some of its products online. Some of the revenue collected from online sales will go to fund an Early Education and Care Fund.
Other provisions include $80 million for community health centers; $30 million to support rest homes; $15 million for grants to reproductive rights providers for security, workforce and educational needs; $175 million for state parks and recreational facilities upgrades, with $25 million for communities of color; $100 million for the Clean Water Trust Fund; $125 million for small businesses, with $75 million for minority-owned businesses; $50 million for broadband investments in underserved communities; and $75 million in grants to hotels across the state who saw financial loses during the pandemic.
“Today, the House passed much needed relief for the citizens of the commonwealth,” said Rep. Mark Cusack (D-Braintree), House Chair of the Committee on Revenue. The one-time stimulus program we adopted, along with the Essential Premium Pay Program from earlier this year, means that nearly three million residents will have received direct payments totaling nearly $1 billion this year. We are also making permanent changes to our tax system that will provide over $500 million in relief every year going forward.”
“As Massachusetts residents continue to face severe inflation and economic uncertainty, I’m proud of the action taken by the House today that will provide low and middle-class taxpayers with much needed financial relief,” said House Speaker Ron Mariano (D-Quincy). “Included in this legislation are several significant tax relief proposals, over $2.5 billion worth of one-time industry targeted investments, economic relief rebates for qualifying taxpayers and a newly established source of revenue to fund the state’s early education and care system. These are vital forms of real, tangible economic relief.”
“ This legislation will ensure Massachusetts continues its strong economic growth and puts us in solid footing to rebound from the pandemic,” said Rep. Jerry Parisella (D-Beverly), House Chair of the Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. “Some highlights include providing a boost to our local theaters, giving our academic institutions the ability to lead the nation in fields like artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, cyber security and robotics. And also provide funding to create thousands of units of housing throughout the commonwealth.
(A “Yes” vote is for the bill).
Rep. Christine Barber Yes Rep. Mike Connolly Yes Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven Yes