Now is the Time for Broad Tax Relief Aimed at the Middle Class

Record Gas and Diesel Fuel Prices Continue to Plague Massachusetts for a Second Week in a Row, MA Breaks Record for Highest Prices Ever Recorded

According to data from AAA Northeast, for the second week in a row, gasoline and diesel prices continue to break state records on a daily basis. Every day of last week, prices broke state records established the previous day. Prices are continuing that costly trend this week, with today’s fuel prices breaking Friday’s state record. Today, a gallon of gasoline costs $4.602 and diesel $6.377. Last week’s gasoline was approximately 5% cheaper, a month ago it was 13% less expensive, and this time last year gasoline was $2.91 a gallon, which represents a 58% increase in price since then. Despite these high fuel prices, Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka have refused to consider suspending the state gas tax as other Northeastern states have already done, or are on the verge of doing. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue reported the state collected $6.9 billion from state taxpayers, a jump of 79% from last April. With record fuel prices, an 8.5% rate of inflation, and Massachusetts collecting nearly 80% more in taxes last month over a year ago, now is the time for our State House leaders to immediately adopt broad tax relief aimed at middle class taxpayers.

“Massachusetts taxpayers are in desperate need to have more money in their paychecks. A good way to do that is through broad based tax relief aimed at the middle class. Suspending the state gas tax is a start, and reducing the state income tax by 10% would go a long way to help taxpayers keep up with the rate of inflation which stands at 8.5%. Reducing the state income tax rate from 5% to 4.5% would represent a 10% reduction, and be meaningful for hard-working middle-class Massachusetts taxpayers,” stated Paul Diego Craney, spokesman for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.

“The only thing worse than inaction by our Speaker and Senate President is the passage of the legislature’s graduated income surtax amendment, which would increase the income tax by 80% on some taxpayers and businesses. Even for taxpayers who do not fall into the legislature’s 80% tax hike, it will have an indirect impact on the middle class. Businesses will be forced to leave and the high tax costs will be passed down. As painful as it is today for the middle class, it can get a lot worse if the legislature’s 80% tax hike is passed this November,” concluded Craney.

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