Massachusetts income tax to be slightly cut

Massachusetts State House boston
The Department of Revenue estimates the tax cut will reduce state revenues by about $65 million in fiscal 2014.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

Economic triggers have been met to force a reduction in the state income tax in 2014 from 5.25 percent to 5.2 percent.

“We’ll be reduced to 5.2 percent as of Jan. 1,” Administration and Finance Secretary Glen Shor told the News Service.

Asked about the tax cut’s impact on the state budget, Shor said, “There’s lot of moving parts to the budget in any given year.”

The Department of Revenue estimates the tax cut will reduce state revenues by about $65 million in fiscal 2014. The tax cut will take between $125 million and $140 million off the table for the fiscal 2015 budget, with Gov. Deval Patrick set to outline his fiscal 2015 spending plan next month.

Tax receipts are running $359 million above the fiscal 2014 benchmark through November. The Department of Revenue reported Wednesday that November tax collections surged 10.6 percent, or $151 million above collections in November 2012. Tax collections are up 9.7 percent over the first five months of fiscal 2014, compared to the same period in fiscal 2013.

Patrick administration officials this fall predicted non-tax revenue in fiscal 2014 may fall short of estimates by $150 million.

Administration officials have repeatedly ignored requests for the reasons behind that revised forecast for non-tax revenue, and Shor on Wednesday declined to specify reasons for the revision, offering only the observation that there are many different non-tax revenue sources.

Massachusetts voters in 2000 approved an initiative petition calling to reduce the income tax rate from 5.95 percent to 5 percent by 2003. In 2002, in order to raise $215 million as part of a larger tax package, the state Legislature froze the income tax rate at 5.3 percent and conditioned further reductions on economic growth triggers.

Tax collections had been running above benchmark in early fiscal 2013, but fell just short of meeting the triggers for an income tax reduction this past January.

Calls for increased state spending are beginning ahead of Patrick’s budget filing.

UMass President Robert Caret on Wednesday called for a $40 million increase in state funding for the university, saying a $519 million appropriation would allow tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduate students to be frozen for a second straight year.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'Full House' might be relaunched with some of…

A new "Full House" might be in the works.

Movies

Review: 'The Congress' is a crazy, unwieldy sci-fi…

Robin Wright is the center of gravity in "The Congress," which turns from a live-action Hollywood satire into an animated spectacular on a downer future.

Movies

Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood' is a…

Dakota Fanning plays Errol Flynn's (Kevin Kline) teenage gal pal in "The Last of Robin Hood," which takes a scandal and makes it dully empathetic.

Movies

Review: The uneven 'Life of Crime' mostly gets…

Elmore Leonard's "The Switch" becomes the new indie crime dramedy "Life of Crime," with Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped woman whose husband won't pay up.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Education

Does the school day start too early?

As thousands of high schoolers get ready to head back to class, health experts say it may be time to push back the start of…

Style

Fall 2014 trend: lilac

Push those gray and black sweaters aside and make room for blush and lilac.

Career

Stop eating lunch at your desk

What are you doing for lunch today? If you are like most workers, you'll be eating at your desk - which isn't much of a…

Parenting

Lure your baby to sleep with Maroon 5…

These new renditions of "Moves Like Jagger" and "Payphone" are Maroon 5 like you've never heard them before.