By Bob Katzen
The Senate 10-30, rejected a tax reduction amendment that would provide a 3-month suspension of the 24-cents-per-gallon gas tax; reduce from 12 percent to 5 percent the short-term capital gains tax rate; double the dependent care tax credit from $240 to $480 for one qualifying individual and to $960 for two or more individuals; increase the rental deduction cap from $3,000 to $5,000; increase the threshold for “no tax status” to $12,400 for single filers and $24,800 for joint filers; and double the maximum Senior Circuit Breaker Credit.
“The Senate Republican Caucus members proposed more than 30 tax cut and credit proposals during this budget because we believe that we have an obligation to take reasonable actions to help people face the challenges they are dealing with from high housing costs, gas prices at record levels and inflation that continues to rise at alarming rates,” said amendment sponsor Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “We know that with state revenues wildly exceeding what we need to operate, and a fiscal year 2023 budget spending increase of more than $2 billion, we have the capacity to help families, seniors, students, commuters and those who depend on childcare.”
“The tax break package presented by my colleagues and I would have eased the burden on working families and provided urgently needed financial relief from the economic challenges we continue to face,” said Sen. Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “With record prices for gas, housing, childcare and basic necessities, we need to act immediately to enact tax reforms to ease the blow on our residents and protect those who simply cannot afford the looming changes our economy will experience.”
“The Joint Committee on Revenue is reviewing tax reduction bills and the full Senate has committed to consideration of a comprehensive and thoughtful revenue proposal, including tax reductions,” said Sen. John Keenan (D-Quincy) who voted against the amendment.
“The Senate President has already announced that the Senate is taking up a tax relief package shortly,” said amendment opponent Sen. Adam Hinds (D-Pittsfield). “That is what we prefer to focus on. We want to be absolutely certain that tax cuts go to those who need it most, not just giveaways to the most wealthy.”
(A “Yes” vote is for the tax cuts. A “No” vote is against the tax cuts).
Sen. Patricia Jehlen No