THE EVERETT ADVOCATE – FRiDAy, ApRil 21, 2023 Page 11 BEACON | FROM PAGE 10 “With increases to the earned income tax credit, the senior circuit breaker and the renters deduction, there’s a lot in this bill that we can all support,” said Rep. Mike Connolly (D-Cambridge). “And yet, other parts of the bill, such as the big cut to the short-term capital gains tax rate, will disproportionately benefi t the very wealthy. In this time of unprecedented inequality, housing emergency and MBTA disaster, I believe we need to reconsider the provisions of this bill that are inequitable and will ultimately deprive us of the revenue we need to invest in our future.” “Despite the Chapter 62F changes, I voted for the underlying legislation because it will provide over $1 billion in tax relief to Massachusetts residents and business owners,” said Rep. Mike Soter (R-Bellingham). “Over the last three years, our state has seen a net loss of over 100,000people,” said Paul Craney, spokesperson for Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance. “As the full eff ect of the income surtax amendment begins to be felt, we’re absolutely going to see that trend continue, but this time with a cohort composed of our largest taxpayers. Our economic competitiveness rankings are in free fall. If our state government is to address this issue and head it off before it becomes catastrophic, they need to take bold action. The changes to the estate and capital gains taxes put forth by the House won’t cut it and the speaker’s attempt to gut the voter approved tax cap and rebate law known as 62F is nothing more than provocation to the taxpayers. (A “Yes” vote is for the $1.1 billion in tax relief. A “No” vote is against it). Rep. Joseph McGonagle Yes HOW TO DISTRIBUTE SOME FUTURE TAX REFUND (H 3770) House 26-128, rejected an amendment that would change the current law (known as 62F), approved by voters on the 1986 ballot, that requires that annual tax revenue above a certain amount collected by the state go back to the taxpayers. A few months ago, the law resulted in $2.9 billion being returned to taxpayers, using a formula based on how much each taxpayer paid in income taxes in 2021. In the House $1 billion tax reduction bill, the formula is changed so that each taxpayer will receive a fl at rate refund, unrelated to what they paid in taxes. The amendment would strike the change and revert back to the refund based on what a person paid in income taxes in 2021. “The Legislature needs to respect the will of the voters, and that means keeping the existing Chapter 62F tax law in place,” said sponsor GOP House Minority Leader Rep. Brad Jones (R-North Reading). “If we really want to change the law, we should not act unilaterally, but instead should hold public hearings to solicit input from the state’s taxpayers or put it before the voters again as a statewide ballot question to see whether there is actual public support for making those changes.” Opponents of the income-based amendment said the flat rate refund would ensure everyone in the state, regardless of income, will share equally in the state’s economic success. “This is a representative democracy, not a direct democracy,” said Rep. Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown). “Yes, there are some ballot initiatives, things that go on the ballot that come to us. And [as] often as not, we make tweaks to those ballot initiatives and change them after they are voted on by the people to make them better legislation. What recently comes to mind is the legislation and the ballot initiative that legalized the sale of cannabis in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. What appeared on the ballot is not what appears in our statute books today, so this isn’t some outlier. This is the common practice.” Massachusetts Republican Party Chair Amy Carnevale said the fl at rate refund changes the 1986 law from a refund into a government handout. “Instead of taxpayers getting a percentage based on what they paid to the state, the Democrats want to send just a fl at rate check to everyone. It is a redistribution of wealth. It is not fair. Your refund should be based on what you pay.” (A “Yes” vote is for the amendment distributing the refund based on what each taxpayer paid in taxes. A “No” vote is against the amendment and favors a fl at rate refund of the same amount for each taxpayer). Rep. Joseph McGonagle No RAISE TRIGGER POINT FOR TAX REFUND (H 3770) House 25-129, rejected a Republican amendment to a section of the Democrats’ tax relief bill that would change a current law that provides when the state’s Stabilization Fund, also known as the Rainy Day Fund, exceeds 15 percent of budgeted revenues, the excess is transferred to the Tax Reduction Fund which eventually is returned to taxpayers. The Democrats’ tax relief bill would raise that percent to 25.5 percent. The Republican amendBEACON | SEE PAGE 12

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