The Senate Ways and Means Committee released its proposed budget for FY18 clocking in at $40.79B in spending, a 3.3% increase over FY17 spending. Unsurprisingly, the Senate's version of next year's spending plan would involve more taking from taxpayers.
First, the plan for taxing lodging and short term rental websites such as Airbnb is expanded. The Governor’s proposal set a threshold of 150 days or more of renting out a room or house annually. The Senate ups the ante and includes rentals of all durations. The Senate plan also jacks up taxes on internet-based room resellers, like TripAdvisor or Expedia.
The Senate also tinkered with the controversial plan proposed by the governor to tax employers to offset the rising cost of MassHealth, which accounts for 41% of the state budget. Governor Baker's gotten an earful of trouble on the his proposal, which established a per employer fee on companies of 10 or more that don't insure at least 80% of their workers. The Senate changed that threshold to companies of 25 or more and added a second option: increasing the Employer Medical Assistance Contribution, the tax already in place which helps pay for subsidized insurance plans and medical care for the uninsured.
Absent from the Senate version was any attempt to address the structural issues that create such astounding growth year over year in the MassHealth budget. We’ll keep you updated on amendments offered to the senate budget.
After our lunch, Kimberley was interviewed on WGBH's Greater Boston and appeared on the Howie Carr Show. Click on the links below to catch her interviews.
Greater Boston on WGBH
Happy Cinco de Mayo, a day we clink margarita glasses in remembrance of Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Pueblo in 1862. Here in Massachusetts, we have another reason to celebrate.
According to an annual study done by the Tax Foundation, today is Massachusetts’s Tax Freedom Day.
If we tallied all our earnings from January first until today, the total would equal the amount we pay in federal, state, and local taxes . Of the fifty-nifty United States, Massachusetts celebrates after everyone else but Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.
Congratulations, Massachusetts taxpayer. From now on, you can keep the money you earn!
The national tax Freedom Day was on April 23. To put all this tax talk into perspective, Americans will collectively spend more on taxes in 2017 than on food, clothing, and housing combined. I know I could use a margarita after hearing that.
So rim your glass with salt, dip into some fresh guacamole, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Hold your paycheck a little more tightly tonight, and celebrate your freedom from Uncle Sam.