BOSTON (WWLP) – Lawmakers worked throughout the weekend to wrap up final pieces of legislation. Tax relief was on the table, but an obscure law from the 80’s threw the legislature into a scramble. The House and Senate passed their economic development bills just a few weeks ago, but a compromise has not emerged from conference committee.
Both chambers included in their bills roughly $1 billion in tax relief measures, $500 million of which were in tax rebate checks for middle-class tax filers. But, the historic budget surplus may trigger a 1986, voter approved law, that set a cap on tax revenue growth.
The law, known as Chapter 62F requires the overage to be returned back to taxpayers. It’s estimated that roughly $2.96 billion is slated to be returned. If that number is accurate, taxpayers will receive about 7% of the income taxes they paid in 2021.
House Speaker Ron Mariano at first said he was open to changing the 1986 law, so residents could see more immediate tax relief measures. He has since walked back those statements.
Representative Lindsay Sabadosa believes tax relief measures can still be accomplished while waiting for the outcome of Chapter 62F, “We are going to do some sort of relief for people. Whether it’s through the 1986 law, or whether it’s through the tax relief that we planned. People will be getting something, I just hope we can make it as targeted as possible.”
Governor Baker, along with every candidate running for office is in support of the 1986 law. The last time this law was triggered was in 1987.
A final calculation of the numbers will come from the auditor’s office by September 20th.