Hope Is Fading for Relief for Massachusetts Taxpayers
The Massachusetts Senate passed its version of a budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2022, but rejected several amendments to provide tax relief for residents of the Commonwealth. The House did the same when passing its own version of a budget back in April.
Massachusetts Republican Governor Charlie Baker has long sought tax relief and the two Republicans looking to replace him in this fall's election have gone so far as to call for a freeze on the state's 24-cents-per-gallon gas tax until prices at the gas pumps become a bit more manageable for consumers.
Democrats, who control both branches of the Massachusetts Legislature, have been reluctant to consider any sort of tax relief at this time. Senate President Karen Spilka has promised some tax relief once the budget is approved but it's not clear if there are enough votes to get the job done.
The vote in the Senate to nix the tax-cutting amendments failed on a 10-30 vote, with seven Democrats siding with their Republican counterparts.
First Plymouth and Bristol District Senator March Pacheco of Taunton joined his Republican colleagues in support of a tax break. Second Bristol and Plymouth District Senator Mark Montigny of New Bedford and First Bristol and Plymouth District Senator Michael Rodriques of Westport did not.
After the vote, Rodriques, Chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, suggested the Senate may come up with some proposals for tax relief of its own at some point. What form that might take is anyone's guess at this point.
For the moment, there are no specific proposals for tax relief before the legislature, and time is quickly running out on the current session.