PUBLIC POLICY

Mass. task force urges fewer tax breaks

Posted 3/20/12

BOSTON – The Expenditure Commission – a joint task force of elected officials and policy makers in Massachusetts – thinks the Bay State needs to overhaul its tax system to eliminate tax exemptions that cost billions in public revenue, according to Boston.com.

The task force released a preliminary report that calls on Gov. Deval L. Patrick and state legislators to reduce the number of tax breaks offered in the Bay State.

Massachusetts has 200 tax credits, deductions and exemptions that cover things such as funeral items and cement mixers, according to the Dept. of Revenue and Boston.com. The tax breaks cost the state more than $26 billion a year in revenue – roughly $4 billion more than it collects in taxes every year.

Supporters of tax exemptions argue that they encourage expansion, create jobs and attract businesses, since they often target specific industries.

Members of the Expenditure Commission have not finalized details, but told the news site that the report would probably identify specific tax breaks to be eliminated.

The final report is scheduled to be released by April 1.

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