Maura Healey Won’t Commit To Not Raising Taxes, If Elected Governor

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Would Maura Healey raise taxes?

The Democrat would not commit to not raising taxes if elected governor of Massachusetts.

Healey, the state’s current attorney general, was asked about taxes during a WCVB Channel 5 debate on Thursday night — specifically, if she would oppose all tax increases.

“I’m not gonna commit to particular pledges,” Healey said Thursday, October 20. “I will commit to doing:  this recognizing right now, we’ve got a serious issue with inflation. So many families and businesses are struggling with affordability. I’m very focused as well on Massachusetts’s competitiveness and I don’t want to see employers or businesses going elsewhere.”

Healey took a different approach from that of her opponent in the race, former state representative Geoff Diehl (R-Whitman).

Diehl said he opposes raising any and all taxes in the Commonwealth. He added that he doesn’t think Massachusetts will need to raise taxes during the next four years.

“I came into the legislature in 2010,” Diehl said. “In 2008 and 2009, the mortgage meltdown caused a large problem with the state being able to pay towns what they needed to for local aid and Chapter 70 school funds. That was one of the big reasons that I ran. So I understand what happens when the state ends up spending more than they should. And in this case, I understand that the state has that surplus. What I think they need to do is manage to hold onto the surplus beyond the $3 billion that’s supposed to be returned and make sure they’ve got that in a rainy-day fund for what could potentially be a major economic meltdown.”

“I don’t think the state is ever going to be in a position where we need to raise taxes over the time that I’ll be in office as governor,” Diehl later added.

Diehl also notes that Healey supports Question 1 on the November 2022 ballot. It would impose a 4 percent surtax on income earned over $1 million in the Commonwealth.

Healey said her support for the initiative, however, does not mean that she will automatically start raising taxes as governor.

“Question 1 is a matter for the voters,” Healey said. “The voters are soon going to vote on Question 1, and we’ll see what they choose to do. But I’ve been clear on how I’m going to lead as governor. That is with a focus on inflation, and affordability. It is getting the tax relief in place that we need that’s sensible, that’s smart, and it’s finding ways, again, to deal with some of the drivers of the high costs right now that so many families are experiencing and that is around housing and transportation — which I am committed to fixing.”

Healey said she supports a tax cut package proposed by the current governor, Charlie Baker, a Republican, that would include tax breaks for senior citizens and changes in the estate tax that would eliminate it for some people and lessen it for others. It would also raise the amount of money someone could make without having to pay state income taxes, double the dependent care tax credit, and lower the state’s short-term capital gains tax from 12 percent to 5 percent.

The Massachusetts gubernatorial election is set for Tuesday, November 8. However, in-person early voting started on Saturday, October 22, and goes until Friday, November 4. There will be no in-person voting on Saturday, November 5; Sunday, November 6; and Monday, November 7.


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