Mass. lawmakers pass on personal tax exemption increase

Legislators said they cannot afford to raise the tax exemption

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts House and Senate sent a $38 billion state budget to the Governor’s desk Wednesday. Budget negotiators rejected a proposal to raise the personal tax exemption for people of all income levels, even though the state is pulling in more revenues than expected.

State Representative Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington) told 22News, “Well, we had a very difficult budget year. We made certain decisions based on what we’re able to afford and that was one of the ones we weren’t able to do this year.”

Single individuals could have seen their tax exemption go up by $400 to $4,800 and for married couples by $800 to $9,600. There is still a chance you could pay less in state income tax down the road. The state is on track to hitting a series of triggers that will automatically rollback the state income tax rate from 5.15% to 5%. It is a system that Massachusetts voters approved in 2000.

“We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the rate of earned income will decrease, so all taxpayers will pay less in state income taxes under this budget,” said Chicopee State Representative Joe Wagner.

The fiscal 2016 budget includes more money for local aid, public education and transportation compared to the previous year.

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