House insists on delaying charitable giving tax deduction

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (SHNS) – Twenty-one years after voters approved a tax deduction for charitable donations, the House on Wednesday voted to override Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto and postpone for another year the tax break that non-profits said would help encourage residents to support an industry hurting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The vote to override Baker’s veto of the delay language was 124-35. A Senate override vote could come as soon as Thursday. All 30 House Republicans voted to sustain Baker’s veto and allow the tax deduction to take effect next year. They were joined by independent Rep. Susannah Whipps and four Democrats – Nika Elugardo, Christopher Markey, David Robertson, and Joan Meschino.

“Yes, the revenue picture is rosy, but it’s not certain. It doesn’t mean no, just not now,” said Rep. Mark Cusack, the House chair of the Committee on Revenue. The House and Senate approved a one-year postponement of the charitable tax deduction as part of the fiscal 2022 budget, proposing to push back its implementation until Jan. 1, 2023.

While the tax break is worth an estimated $64 million in the current budget year and $300 million annually, Baker argued “the combination of strong state revenues and serious needs facing non-profits and charitable organizations necessitates this tax deduction’s going into place.”

“I think it is the perfect point in time to say to the voters who overwhelmingly passed this in 2000 we’re finally going to live up the commitment, to the demand you made as voters,” Minority Leader Brad Jones said.

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