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Baker pushes $700 million tax relief proposal for Massachusetts to combat inflation

Baker details $700 million tax relief proposal
Baker details $700 million tax relief proposal 02:59

BOSTON -  Proclaiming Massachusetts' financial position to be "better than it's ever been," Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday promoted his $700 million tax relief proposal as a way to help older and low-income residents facing skyrocketing inflation.

The governor urged the Legislature to act on his plan announced earlier this year before a July 31 deadline. He said his proposals are "extremely affordable," given the state's $5 billion budget surplus and tax revenue collections that "continue to come in significantly over benchmark."

"Especially at a time of inflation, high gas prices, high food prices, high rent costs and rising prices across the board, we think it's time to give some of this extra revenue back to the people who earned it in the first place - the taxpayers," Baker said at an event alongside senior advocacy groups.

The governor's proposal includes:

  • Doubling the maximum senior circuit breaker credit
  • Raising the rental deduction cap from $3,000 to $5,000
  • Doubling the dependent care and household dependent care credits
  • Increasing threshold for "no tax status" to $12,400 for single filers, $24,800 for joint filers and $18,650 for head of households
  • Doubling estate tax threshold and eliminating "cliff effect"
  • Changing short-term capital gains tax to 5%

Senate President Karen Spilka said last week that lawmakers are "currently in discussions about a tax relief proposal," and the State House News Service reported that estate tax changes are appearing more likely. Baker's proposal would have the estate tax kick in at $2 million, and only amounts above that would be taxed. 

State treasurer Deb Goldberg told WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller that Massachusetts has "more than enough funding" to suspend the gas tax - something that the Legislature has previously rejected - and adopt Baker's tax relief proposal.

"(Baker) is absolutely right. I don't think people realize just how much money we have in the bank," Goldberg said.  

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