Maura Healey Won’t Propose Tax, Fee Increases In Budget

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2024/01/19/maura-healey-wont-propose-tax-fee-increases-in-budget/

By Chris Lisinski
State House News Service

A week after cutting spending and reaching for new non-tax revenue to keep the budget in balance, Govenor Maura Healey on Wednesday outlined additional investments she wants the state to make in literacy education, transportation, and the climate tech industry. 

So will she pursue any tax or fee increases to help cover those new costs?

“No,” Healey declared Thursday, January 18 in response to that question. “We’ve got to remind the public we’re still seeing revenue growth. We see revenue growth this year over last year, it just happens it’s growing at a slower rate. I promised last night [to] the people that I’m only going to file a budget that is fiscally responsible. That’s what you’re going to see next week.””

In each of the first six months of fiscal year 2024, Massachusetts collected less in tax revenue than Beacon Hill’s budget-writers expected when they crafted the annual spending plan. Healey responded by cutting $375 million in spending, and top Democrats agreed on a tax revenue forecast for fiscal year 2025 that’s only about $100 million more than the original estimate for fiscal year 2024.

Healey said in her State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday night, January 17 that her budget proposal due next week will propose a “record” level of investment in local roads and bridges, significant boosts to state support for Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority operations, the next scheduled investments under the Student Opportunity Act, and a new early literacy program.

Legislative leaders quickly signaled they are not interested in raising taxes to cover the governor’s new spending ideas.

Speaking with reporters Thursday after testifying in support of her housing bond bill, Healey pointed out that policymakers have a “separate funding stream” available for education and transportation investments thanks to a voter-approved surtax on high earners.

 
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