BOSTON (WWLP) – It’s been a back and forth for months now when it comes to the economic development bill, and finally Wednesday a deal was struck.
The House and Senate both unanimously voted to pass their respective versions of the economic development bills in July before sending them to conference committee. However, the bill languished for months after the revelation that the state owed nearly $3 billion back in refunds to taxpayers under a law known as Chapter 62F.
Because of that, nearly $1 billion worth of permanent tax relief was stripped from the final bill. Nearly $500 million of that tax relief was planned to go out to middle-class tax filers as a one-time $250 dollar rebate checks.
The bill, which is a conference committee report, meaning it cannot be amended, will have to be accepted unanimously by both chambers.
“We’re committed to taking a look at permanent tax cuts next year when we have a better picture of what the economy looks like, now the feds just raised the interest rates as we were sitting in there today, so we face a bit of an uncertain economic future and we want to be sure that what we do is smart and well thought out,” said House Speaker Ron Mariano.
The nearly $3.8 billion bill includes $1.4 billion dollars in the human services sector which includes struggling hospitals, $540 million in clean energy and climate programs, and $409.5 million in affordable housing.
Lawmakers will also spend what remains of the states surplus, which will allow the comptroller to finish his fiscal year 2022 report. The conference committee report was accepted by both chambers and now sits in front of the governor for his signature.