Mariano says state can afford another tax cut package

Speaker promises proposal soon, says some elements will be phased in

THE PROSPECTS for passage of a new tax reform package gained momentum on Thursday as House Speaker Ron Mariano said the chamber will soon unveil a series of tax cuts, some of which will be phased in over several years.

In a speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Mariano provided few details on the contents of the tax reform package other than saying it would provide relief to “families, renters, and many of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents, all while making Massachusetts more competitive with other states.”

Both the House and Senate passed tax reform legislation last year, but no consensus was reached between the two branches, largely because Mariano worried the state couldn’t afford it while complying with a 1986 tax cap law triggering $3 billion in rebates.

In his prepared remarks to the Chamber on Thursday, Mariano indicated he believes the state can now afford a tax relief package.

“In order to guarantee that this proposal does not jeopardize the long-term financial security of the Commonwealth, our tax relief package will propose phasing in several tax reforms over a multi-year period,” he said.

Gov. Maura Healey has already proposed a tax relief proposal costing nearly $1 billion annually and providing tax relief to families with dependents, renters, and seniors. She also recommended an overhaul reducing the impact of the state’s estate tax and elimination of the higher tax on short-term capital gains.

The House last year proposed increasing the deduction renters can claim, the Earned Income Tax Credit, the state’s child and dependent tax credit, and the threshold of the estate tax. None of those measures moved forward after the economy shifted and the 1986 law reaquired the state to return $3 billion to taxpayers.