DiZoglio Criticizes State Tax Rebate Plan Because it Leaves Out Lowest Income Earners

House Speaker Ron Mariano and two of his lieutenants—budget chief Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, left, and revenue point-man Rep. Mark Cusack, right—detailed top lawmakers’ initial tax relief plans this week: checks for $250 that would hit some taxpayers’ mailboxes in the fall. (Sam Doran/SHNS.)

Sen. Diana DiZoglio. (File photograph.)

State Sen. Diana DiZoglio is criticizing a plan to send rebate checks to taxpayers because it omits the Commonwealth’s poorest residents.

DiZoglio said Saturday she agrees with providing relief from inflation and rising gas prices. She noted, however, the proposed tax rebates of $250 for individual taxpayers and $500 for married taxpayers filing jointly leaves out residents who earned less than $38,000 in 2021.

“Those residents were the hardest hit during the pandemic and they continue to recover from the impacts of a healthcare crisis and extensive unemployment. Previous relief provided to help our most vulnerable residents through the pandemic emergency should not preclude them from receiving the proposed rebate to assist them through the current difficult financial environment,” DiZoglio wrote in a letter Saturday to Senate President Karen E. Spilka.

She called the low-income exclusion “unsupportable, especially given the Commonwealth’s unexpected $3.6 billion surplus.”

“With the tax windfalls the Commonwealth is presently sitting on and only a few weeks left to propose more intricate tax relief legislation, what reason can we rightfully give to exclude lower income households from receiving a straightforward tax rebate?” She asked.

The rebate plan still needs to be written, debated, approved and signed by a governor who has watched his own tax relief ideas be slow-walked by the legislature.

DiZoglio’s position is shared by candidates on both sides of the political aisle. Democratic candidate for attorney general Quentin Palfrey tweeted Friday, “It is so frustrating that Beacon Hill would exclude low-income people from a measure that seeks to alleviate the economic pain of rising costs—that’s who needs it the most!”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Doughty said he welcomes relief for taxpayers, but suggested there might be a political motivation behind the Democrats’ long-awaited proposal.

“After waiting months, I can’t help but wonder why the checks would be going out in September. With the mail-in ballot process beginning 45 days before the election, the September timeframe looks awfully suspicious,” Doughty said.

(State House News Service contributed to this report.)

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