Massachusetts lawmakers look for revenue to balance budget

April tax collections came in $241-million below expectations

BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts lawmakers are still working to balance this years budget. With just two months left in the fiscal year, the state has hit a significant roadblock.

April is typically one of the biggest months for the state to take in revenue, but April tax collections came in $241-million below expectations. This puts the state more than $460-million below where they need to be for the fiscal year.

This budget shortfall comes at a time when state lawmakers are crafting next year’s budget and they’re looking at ways for the state to take in more revenue. One proposal is to raise income taxes on millionaires by four percent.

State Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose told 22News “That’s going to be the next significant positive step, I believe, towards having sufficient revenues to cover the services that we need to be funding in Massachusetts and it would go to education and transportation infrastructure.”

Tax collections help fund critical services like healthcare and education. Lawmakers are considering sales tax breaks for residents, including a summer sales tax holiday, but with the current financial situation, it might not happen.

With just two months left in the fiscal year, lawmakers anticipate the governor will have to make budget cuts. Governor Charlie Baker made in $98-million in executive cuts in December. “When the pie is only so big and there’s lot of people who want a piece of it, sometimes these very, very difficult decisions need to be made,” State Representative Paul Tucker said.

State lawmakers are still hoping to restore spending in areas cut by the governor, but they’re running out of time.