Tax relief plan likely to top Healey’s agenda

The Eagle-Tribune previews the Healey Administration’s agenda, which is expected to include revisiting reforms to the state estate tax:

BOSTON — The decision by legislative leaders to punt on a massive tax relief plan gives incoming Democratic Gov. Maura Healey the chance to mark her first notch as the state’s new chief executive with a package of tax cuts.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker initially pitched the tax relief plan, which included $250 per individual tax rebates and a buffet of permanent tax cuts, such as increasing the rental deduction cap, expanding senior circuit breaker tax credits, and overhauling the estate, or “death” tax.

But lawmakers failed to pass the tax relief package with a $4 billion economic development plan before the July 31 end of the formal sessions.

But Governor Healey is now bringing attention back to the estate tax:

On the campaign trail, she said a tax relief plan would be a “priority” for her administration, citing Baker’s proposal to change the income levels for the estate tax and provide more help to seniors and low- and middle -income renters.

[. . .]

Baker’s tax relief plan called for tapping more than $500 million in federal pandemic funds and state surplus revenues to increase the senior circuit breaker tax credit, earned income tax credit and child and dependent tax credit.

It also called for overhauling the estate tax, which is charged to a decedent’s estate when their assets pass on to beneficiaries.

The plan would have increased the threshold triggering the estate tax to assets valued at more than $2 million.

Massachusetts is one of only a dozen states to charge the tax, which currently applies to an estate worth more than $1 million in value. Assets include stocks, life insurance policies, boats, vehicles and other earthly possessions.

Doubling that threshold to $2 million would save an estimated 2,500 taxpayers more than $207 million, according to data provided by legislative leaders.

This post is a part of Old Colony Law’s Estate Tax Updates.