Electronic income

House rejects rebates for low-income people in sweeping economic development program

The amendment was swept aside in a package with dozens of other amendments and defeated in a voice vote without recording each representative’s name, as members began voting on nearly 900 amendments to the multi-billion package of dollars, which included what lawmakers said was $1 billion in tax cuts for residents.

Gouveia, a Democrat from Acton, did not ask for her amendment to be voted on by roll call.

“Leaders made it clear earlier this week and again today that they were not open to this type of change,” she told The Globe in a statement.

The bill, which serves as the vehicle for nearly $524 million in permanent tax relief, would increase the deduction renters can claim, increase the state’s earned income tax credit and raise the threshold for state inheritance tax.

The ground debate came as gasoline, food and rent prices propelled inflation to a four-decade high in June, according to new government data released Wednesday. The House is expected to vote on the final package on Thursday.

“This is a time when our people’s wallets are stretched,” said Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, the House’s budget chief.

Gouveia, who is also running in a statewide election for lieutenant governor, rallied supporters of his amendment on the steps of the State House on Wednesday morning to call on lawmakers to include workers in low wages who are affected by “the uncertainties of inflation, rising rents and wages”. deletion.”

“Those most in need of support are being left behind,” she said.

Connolly, who co-sponsored the amendment, said according to his calculations a worker earning the state’s $14.25 minimum wage would have to work more than 50 hours a week to meet the $38,000 threshold to qualify. to relief.

“Telling people they’ve been taken care of in a time of skyrocketing inflation. . . it’s something I can’t shut up about,” he said.

Top lawmakers say low-income people have been given priority over the past year, with stimulus payments, improved unemployment benefits and a temporary extension of the federal child tax credit. They pushed back against the idea that they were leaving residents behind.

Michlewitz pointed out Wednesday that by passing the economic development package, lawmakers are “providing brand new tax relief to all the different spectrums of our income scale.”

Rep. Mark J. Cusack, a Braintree Democrat and House Revenue Chairman, re-emphasized Michlewitz’s point and added that many seniors, renters and others earning less than $38,000 a year will still see the advantages of this package.

“It’s frustrating,” he told The Globe in an interview. “The message from activists is good. They will do what they have to do. Obviously, that didn’t influence anyone here. It passed unanimously. »

After the House is expected to pass the bill on Thursday, the Senate will consider the bill next week, spokeswoman Sarah Blodgett said.

Senate Speaker Karen E. Spilka told reporters Wednesday that while she will “never say no to almost anything,” the rebate check structure is something she stands firm on.

“For this in particular, we will move forward,” she said. “We need to get that income and that tax relief for individuals and families.”

Matt Stout of Globe staff contributed to this report.


Samantha J. Gross can be contacted at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @samanthajgross.