Boston- Members of the Senate Republican Caucus, in a letter to Governor Maura Healey, say they are seeking broad and meaningful tax relief in legislation that the Governor has said she would file as a companion to her Fiscal Year 2024 state budget proposal expected in early March, and they are offering their partnership in getting a strong package enacted.
Senate Republicans pursued tax relief through numerous vehicles in the last session to put options on the table to support seniors, renters, low-income families, and others to help residents deal with the accelerating costs facing household budgets. Ultimately, many of those options were included in tax relief packages approved by the House and Senate but did not make it to the desk of Governor Charlie Baker.
In the letter to Healey, the group wrote, “Given the daily financial challenges being experienced by a wide range of taxpayers and the destabilizing effects of those challenges on household budgets, employers, workforce recruitment and retention, and the economic climate of our state, we are appreciative of your interest in pursuing beneficial tax changes and encouraged by your indications that you will soon launch one or more initiatives to do so.”
“We want Governor Healey to know that we share the priority of enacting tax reforms. We’re looking for common ground on meaningful tax relief and we stand ready to help those in our state who are dealing with the high costs of housing, seniors trying to stay in their communities, the escalating price of dependent and child care support, and the substantial economic burdens faced by low-wage earners,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester).
The letter refers to recent state tax collections at historically high levels in contrast with the critical need for relief for hundreds of thousands of families and individuals that were ultimately unmet in the last legislative session. “Today, the economic hardships as acknowledged by legislative leaders and economic experts continue, and our caucus continues to believe that foundational tax relief measures are both overdue and vital,” they wrote.
“Massachusetts has taken in record amounts of tax dollars over the past few years while residents have struggled to make ends meet due to persistent inflation and rises in the cost of living,” said State Senator Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton). “It is our obligation to provide immediate relief by putting their hard-earned money back into their pockets. This will help alleviate the burden they face. Our comprehensive tax package that we are offering will do just that, and we are calling on Governor Healy to support these proposals.”
The letter outlines a number of tax reform measures initially unanimously adopted last session by the House and Senate. Those items were eventually abandoned and absent from bills sent to Governor Baker. The lawmakers say they are eager to work with the Healey Administration and their colleagues to address the daily financial challenges being experienced by a wide range of taxpayers and the destabilizing effects of those challenges on household budgets, employers, workforce recruitment and retention, and the economic climate of the state.
“It’s time for Massachusetts to make significant structural changes to our tax code and ensure everyone in our Commonwealth – seniors and young people, homeowners and renters, and families and businesses – has the opportunity to thrive,” said State Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “My colleagues and I are encouraged to hear that the Administration plans to put forward a tax relief plan in the coming weeks and we look forward to working alongside our colleagues to enact a plan that makes sense for residents in every corner of Massachusetts.”
Governor Healey is expected to file a tax relief proposal in early March.