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Mass. House passes bill on economic rebates, tax relief and bringing lottery online

House passes economic development bill
House passes economic development bill 00:29

BOSTON - The Massachusetts House on Thursday night unanimously passed a $4.2 billion economic development bill that would have significant impacts on residents' wallets.

Lawmakers said most of the investments will be targeted to those hit hardest by the pandemic, including nearly $800 million for health and human services, $500 million in environmental spending, and $175 million for housing.

The bill provides for "economic relief rebates" for Massachusetts taxpayers - $250 for individual filers earning between $38,000 and $100,000, and $500 for married couples making between $38,000 and $150,000.

The $500 million tax relief package includes raising the child tax credit from $180 to $310 per child, and eliminating the cap of $360 for two or more children. It raises the rental deduction cap from $3,000 to $4,000 and ups the estate tax threshold from $1 million to $2 million. The senior circuit breaker tax will also be increased from $750 to $1,755.

The House bill would also let the Massachusetts Lottery sell some products online, with revenue going to early education funding.

"This will include significant funding for subsidy reimbursement rates, workforce compensation rate increases, and support for state-wide early education and care initiatives, among others," House leadership said in a statement. "The amendment requires the Massachusetts Lottery to use age verification measures to ensure that any users are over the age of 18."

The State House News Service reports that lawmakers packed more than $85 million in earmarks onto the bill, including $5 million for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute to pay down its debts, and $1 million for renovations at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.    

The bill is now headed to the Senate.

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