Massachusetts

Speaker Mariano: Mass. House to Pursue ‘Comprehensive' Tax Relief Plan

No details about the proposal have been made public

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The House will pursue a tax relief package aimed both at making Massachusetts more affordable for its residents and "more competitive with other states," Speaker Ron Mariano told business leaders on Thursday.

Mariano, who in recent months had sounded a more cautious tone about whether the state could afford tax relief, did not offer details about what the House proposal will feature, but said it would revive several measures lawmakers approved in last session before ultimately backing away from the topic when they learned state government owed taxpayers nearly $3 billion in rebates.

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"I'm proud to announce today, that the House will soon release a comprehensive tax reform package aimed at providing responsible, permanent financial relief to all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of income status," Mariano wrote in remarks he planned to deliver in a speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce at the Colonnade Hotel.

The Quincy Democrat also said his chamber's version of a fiscal 2024 state budget, which is due out in April, will mirror Gov. Maura Healey's proposal to make community college free for Bay Staters older than 25 without a degree.

"This plan will work in conjunction with the early college, dual enrollment, and industry credentialing programs that the House has long championed to provide greater educational opportunities, especially for low-income students and students of color," Mariano said in his remarks.

Mariano also said the House budget will fund a universal schools meals program that began running on a temporary basis during the pandemic. Healey also supports another's year's worth of funding for the meals program.

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