A day after trimming $375 million from the state budget, Gov. Maura Healey said she has no regrets about signing a billion-dollar tax cut package into law.
“Not at all,” Healey said Tuesday on Boston Public Radio. “I mean, the tax cut was absolutely, in my view, imperative. It was imperative to make this state more affordable for people.”
Healey informed state lawmakers of the spending cuts Monday, describing them as a necessary move with tax collections for this fiscal year now projected to land $1 billion lower than originally anticipated.
The spending reductions and revenue downgrade came three months after Healey heralded the state’s first tax cuts in more than 20 years. A law she signed in October raised the threshold that the estate tax kicks in, lowered the tax rate on short-term capital gains and offered breaks to renters, seniors and families with children or other dependents.
“This spring, seniors are going to see $2,400 off of their tax bill as a result of that tax cut,” Healey said. “Families with children at home or dependents at home are going to be able to take the most generous tax credit in the country. That’s important. That’s real saving to families. You know, 70% of what we did through that tax cut is going to seniors and families.”
The Massachusetts Teachers Association on Monday described the budget reductions as fallout from the tax break law.
"When there was discussion of providing tax cuts to the very rich we warned that cuts have consequences," MTA President Max Page and Vice President Deb McCarthy said in a statement. "These tax cuts gave millions of dollars to the richest members of our society."
Healey described her budget cuts as "a little bit of rightsizing” and called the tax changes “one of the most significant accomplishments” of her first year in office.
This year, the governor said she’ll be “laser-focused” on securing passage of a $4 billion housing bond bill she filed in October. Set for a legislative hearing next week, the bill would pour $1.6 billion into public housing across the state, make it easier for property owners to build in-law apartments and let communities tax some high-value real estate sales and put that proceeds toward affordable housing.
“I don’t want housing to be the problem that it is right now in our state,” Healey said. “Our state is a great state, if you can afford to live here.”