The Boston Globe asks Chamber President & CEO Karen Andreas, ​“If the state adopts tax relief, what form should it take?”

Date: February 26, 2023


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Massive inflation has hurt every Massachusetts resident — with increased food prices, gasoline hikes, housing increases and soaring energy costs.

Business owners are not immune to these financial strains, and now face additional burdens from the passage of Ballot Question 1, the so-called ‘fair share” amendment that will tax individual income above $1 million at 9 percent.

Now, more than ever, tax competitiveness matters. If fed-up employers move out of state, so, too, go their jobs, philanthropy, and goods and services.

Legislative leaders must act quickly with tax relief that mitigates the consequences of this ballot referendum and keeps employers, employees and their families in a thriving Bay State. The North Shore Chamber of Commerce supports tax relief for low-income earners and senior citizens. Furthermore, the Chamber specifically calls for tax changes that will greatly improve the state’s business competitiveness, including the following:

  • Increase the estate tax exemption from $1 million to $2 million and remove the cliff effect, ensuring only the amount above $2 million – and not from dollar one – is taxed. Only 12 states still have estate taxes on the books. Massachusetts must reform this archaic tax to remain competitive.
  • Cut short-term capital gains tax from 12% to 5%. This would tax the money the same as other income and align Massachusetts with other states.
  • Increase the child-care credit to $600 per child, as proposed by Gov. Maura Healey. Child care is a critical workforce issue and we must do more to help working parents.
  • Increase the state’s rental deduction cap, based on 50% of rent paid, from $3,000 to a $5,000 cap. Our workforce needs housing that is affordable, and this tax policy change will help lower-income employees stay in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts taxpayers deserve relief. With the state’s finances in better shape than expected, now is the time for meaningful tax reform. We urge Gov. Healey and the state Legislature to leverage the state’s current strong revenues and federal relief funds to lead the Commonwealth to improved business competitiveness and opportunity for all.