BOSTON (WWLP) – After the Department of Revenue released its numbers regarding the state surplus, it was up to the auditor to certify the results.
The state is flushed with cash, so much that the surplus revenue has to be returned to taxpayers under a law known as Chapter 62F. Chapter 62F is a 1986 voter approved law that caps allowable state tax collections at a level that is tied to annual wage and salary growth. Revenue above said cap is to be returned to taxpayers through a credit.
The auditor had until September 20th to release her certification of the Department of Revenues numbers, but the office came in ahead of schedule. The allowable state tax revenue for this year was roughly $38.8 billion and the state collected around $41.8 billion, leading to an overage of over $2.94 billion.
The auditors report states that Department of Revenue must now return that $2.94 billion to taxpayers.
“We certainly have had more robust revenue growth than in year’s past. I think if you look back too, it is attributable to the considerable amount of coronavirus relief and ARPA funds that came in,” said State Auditor Suzanne Bump.
It is unclear how that money will be returned to taxpayers however on Tuesday, Administration and Finance Secretary Michael Heffernan said that relief would be proportional to what a taxpayer paid in.
The emergence of Chapter 62F caught the legislature off guard at the end of session, putting the economic development bill on ice. Lawmakers were unsure if the state would have enough money to provide $1 billion worth of tax relief, which was in the bill, as well as payouts under Chapter 62F.
It is still unclear if lawmakers will bring the economic development bill out of conference committee and provide further tax relief now that Chapter 62F has been certified.