Massachusetts must return just short of $3 billion in surplus tax revenue to taxpayers, a state official said Thursday.
State Auditor Suzanne Bump certified the Baker administration's estimate of $2.94 billion in excess tax revenue that must be returned under the 1986 voter-approved law known as Chapter 62F. It's the second time the law will return money to Massachusetts residents.
Earlier this week, Administration and Finance Secretary Michael Heffernan said he anticipated the that taxpayers should expect to get back a chunk of the surplus "in the proportion that they paid in," but didn't offer details about when or how they could expect to get the money.
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The state's tax haul blew far beyond expectations for the past two years, allowing officials to bulk up the rainy day savings account balance to about $7 billion, triggering the 1986 voter-approved law.
Under the law, a return of $2,941,499,731 "in the form of a credit must be effectuated by the commissioner of" the Department of Revenue, Bump said in a statement.
Gov. Charlie Baker last month filed a fiscal year 2022 closeout budget that sets aside $2.94 billion to be returned to taxpayers and leaves the Legislature about $1.5 billion in surplus dollars to spend. The Massachusetts House adjourned for the week Thursday without taking up the spending bill.
House Democrats have not given any indication about when they plan to take up the bill, which was filed by Baker on Aug. 31.
Aside from interest in the bill from taxpayers who are owed $2.94 billion from the state, Comptroller William McNamara wants the House and Senate to wrap up work on the closeout budget soon so that he can complete required financial reporting responsibilities.