Months Later, Still Waiting on Healey Tax Cuts

Please, sir, I want some more. 

Remember that line from the Charles Dickens classic “Oliver Twist?”

As Commonwealth taxpayers, we are now Oliver Twist. We get nothing while the illegal immigrants rack up hundreds of millions of dollars in hotel bills we get the bill for. They are getting room service and EBT cards while the legislature ponders giving us the smallest amount possible in tax relief.

It has been 16 months since the legislature promised tax cuts. We have been waiting seven months for globetrotting Governor Maura Healey, who promised tax cuts in her campaign commercials, to enact some form of tax relief. And now we are being told that the House and Senate are closer to reaching a deal.

Don’t hold your breath.

The Department of Revenue estimates that the House package might give us $1 billion in tax relief while the Senate’s plan would deliver $869 million. That’s a far cry from the $3 billion the 62F law sent us last year. As you may suspect, with Democrats controlling everything on Beacon Hill, we are not going to see much relief. For example, the Senate’s version has $60 million in it for low-income housing tax credits.  That’s doesn’t help middle class taxpayers.

The Senate bill also proposes closing a “loophole” concerning the millionaire’s tax foolishly passed by voters last year. Loophole is code for raising taxes. The change would require couples to file joint state returns so that they can be hit with the new four percent income tax. 

The two different tax reform plans do have some redeeming items such as increasing the threshold for estate taxes and the Earned Income Tax Credit, raising the senior circuit breaker tax credit cap, and hiking dependent tax credits at different levels on income.

The estate tax increase is okay, but falls far short of what is needed to make Massachusetts a state where people stay for their final years. 

There is no gas tax suspension or lowering of the sales tax. Overall, this so-called tax reform is a big nothing burger. We are getting crumbs from the table. 

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