Around New England

No New State Taxes, Massachusetts House Speaker Says – At Least For Now

February 15, 2021

State leaders aren’t considering new state taxes at the moment, eyeing instead potential federal largess in the form of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill being considered by Congress, the new speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives said.

Ron Mariano (D-Quincy), who became House speaker on December 30, 2020, hedged on whether new state taxes might be in order if federal aid to the state government doesn’t come through.

Mariano addressed taxes during an appearance on WCVB-TV Channel 5’s On The Record, hosted by Ed Harding and Janet Wu, broadcast Sunday, February 14.

A partial transcript is below:


Janet Wu:    … Are you committed to not raising taxes in any form, for any groups?

Massachusetts House Speaker Ron Mariano:  Well, right now, taxes are not on the table.  We have no intention of raising taxes.

I think we sort of have to figure out where we are in our budget, how much we are going to be short.  I’m not optimistic that tax revenues are going to match.  Even with some surprisingly robust returns, I’m still afraid we’re going to be a little short.

But, we do have to wait and see what the feds do.  Ah, you know, we are watching with high degree of intensity what goes on in Washington.  And if this $1.9 trillion package gets passed, I think we’ll be able to be all right without having to do anything more than just reallocate our funds, and maybe even put some money back into the rainy day fund.


After a brief question by Harding, Wu followed up on taxes.  A transcript of the exchange is below:


Janet Wu:  But what you’re saying, basically, is that if the federal money does not come through you might have to talk about taxes.  But right now you’re not —

Massachusetts House Speaker Ron Mariano:  Well, yeah, I guess what I’m saying more succinctly is, depending on what happens with the feds will determine whether or not we have to have further discussions.