Republican lawmakers want to cut state income tax

Income tax was supposed to hit 5% under ballot question, but some lawmakers concerned about revenue

BOSTON (WWLP) – Some state lawmakers are pushing to get you an income tax break next year. Republicans in the Legislature are pushing to reduce the income tax rate to 5% statewide.

Currently, you pay 5.1% of your personal income to the state in taxes. The state’s revenue committee heard public testimony on several bills to change the state’s income tax and exemption laws.

Massachusetts has gradually been reducing the state income tax from its former 5.9% level since 2000, when Massachusetts voters approved an income tax reduction at the ballot box.

Senator Don Humason (R-Westfield), supports bringing the tax level down to 5%, which was the level approved in the 2000 ballot question.

“Reduction in taxes actually means more money in the pocket of our constituents, and if those folks have more money, they can spend it on whatever they wish to do,” Humason said.

Other lawmakers, however, question whether the state can afford an income tax break at a time when tax collections have come in below expectations.

Legislators do not expect that the state will meet revenue targets in 2018 to roll back the income tax in the new fiscal year; saving the state an estimated $83 million.

Bill sponsors will likely need more support to take this issue to the full Legislature for a vote.