Around New England

Massachusetts House Speaker Sounds Bearish On Tax Cut

February 2, 2023

A key leader on Beacon Hill sounds even less inclined to support a tax cut in Massachusetts than he was toward the end of last year.

Ron Mariano, the speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, supported a modest tax cut package in early July 2022, along with Karen Spilka, the president of the Massachusetts Senate.

Both withdrew their support in late July 2022 after learning that a larger tax cut totaling near $3 billion was automaticbecause of a state law approved by voters in 1986 that limits state government tax revenues if they outstrip the growth in wages and salaries of the state’s residents.

A reporter asked Mariano on Wednesday, February 1 if he thinks a need for an additional tax cut in Massachusetts exists.
“Well, I think the situation has changed. And we have to be a more vigilant supervisor of the Treasury,” Mariano replied, according to State House News Service. “So I do think that we’ll go sit down with the chairman of Ways and Means and look at the numbers and what we have in reserves, and make some decisions.”

Mariano noted that the current state legislative session began in early January 2023. According to State House News Service, Mariano said:  “It’s a new session. We have a higher inflation rate, the revenue numbers are down, the economy has slowed a little bit. So it’s not the same situation as it was a year ago.”

The new governor, Maura Healey, called for the state legislature to pass its originally proposed tax cut while she was campaigning for governor in August 2022. But Healey has not proposed a tax cut since taking office 27 days ago, on January 6.

Mariano, Spilka, and Healey are the three most powerful elected officials in the state. All are Democrats.


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