Bipartisan Massachusetts Bill Would Abolish Income Tax For Minors

Printed from:

Abolish state income tax?

One bill on Beacon Hill would do that for the state’s youngest workers.

A bipartisan bill in the state legislature (S.1920) would abolish state income tax obligations for anyone under 18 years old in the Commonwealth. State Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth) is the bill’s primary sponsor. State Senators Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) and Paul Mark (D-Peru), and state representative Susannah Whipps (U-Athol) are the bill’s co-sponsors. Whipps is an unenrolled legislator who caucuses with the Democratic Party.

The proposal would amend the state’s tax code to say that it applies to people who are at least 18 years old.

“Residents over the age of 18 shall be taxed on their taxable income …” the bill would add to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 62, Section 4. Non-residents under 18 who earn money in Massachusetts would still be subject to state income tax, under the bill.

Current state law sets no age minimum for who has to pay income tax.

The Bay State has two state income tax brackets. Income under $1 million is taxed at a 5 percent rate, while income exceeding $1 million is taxed at a 9 percent rate.

The first $4,400 an individual earns in the Commonwealth in a year is not subject to income tax because of the state’s personal exemption. That figure is doubled to $8,800 for married couples filing jointly.

O’Connor told NewBostonPost in an email statement that the bill will help young people pay for expenses they encounter, including obtaining a vehicle, apartment, or college education.

“Our young people face a range of financial challenges as they transition into adulthood, including saving up for college, housing, or their first car,” O’Connor wrote. “By eliminating income tax for those under 18, we recognize the mounting costs they encounter and aim to alleviate some of the burdens they bear. This bill aims to provide practical support and empower our youth to manage their finances responsibly from an early age. I appreciate the support of my colleagues who have already signed on as cosponsors and am proud to have bipartisan support for the bill.”

Moore expressed a similar sentiment and said letting teens keep more of the money they earn will help them and employers alike.

“Teens who choose to work after school and over the summer already show themselves to take initiative to support their families and build their savings,” Moore told NewBostonPost in a statement by email. “By eliminating the Massachusetts state income tax for minors, we can help our youth keep more money in their pocket without placing any more burden on their employer. This extra cash could help our youth get a head start on their future, allowing them to invest in a degree, purchase a car, or learn a new skill – all things teens and young adults could use a bit of help on as costs continue to rise.”

Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance spokesman Paul Craney told NewBostonPost that while the bill has good intentions, the state legislature should work to abolish income tax altogether.

“While it’s noble to abolish the state income tax for some taxpayers, the best solution is to abolish the state income tax for all,” Craney said in an email message. “The taxpayer gets to keep more of their hard-earned money and the state would be competitive with Florida and New Hampshire, the top two states people flee to when they leave Massachusetts.”

The bill is a re-file. O’Connor also filed the bill last session, although at the time he was the lone sponsor of it. The Joint Committee on Revenue killed the bill by sending it to study.

Mark and Whipps could not be reached for comment on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.


New to NewBostonPost?  Conservative media is hard to find in Massachusetts.  But you’ve found it.  Now dip your toe in the water for two bucks — $2 for two months.  And join the real revolution.