Victory! Corporate Tax Break defeated in final budget bill

Yes, standing up to House leadership works and we have the proof! How activists across the state stopped a corporate giveaway.

The legislature missed multiple deadlines, but the final Supplemental Budget bill to close out FY2019 was finally passed late last night, and thanks to your phone calls & advocacy, the House agreed to drop the $37M corporate tax break that it originally sought.

This is a huge victory. At a time when our public transportation system is falling apart, and experts are predicting slowing revenue growth for the state, this is the worst time to pass a tax cut for the largest corporations making over $25M per year.  

We’re thankful for the leadership of Rep. Maria Robinson who filed an amendment to remove the corporate tax break in the House, although she and several other women legislators were silenced in their attempts to speak to the issue (We covered that issue here in depth)

House leadership wants to make it seem like it’s foolish to fight back on issues, but this example makes clear that Reps have the power to change the narrative and stand up to bad policy. If Rep. Robinson hadn’t filed her amendment and demanded a roll call, it’s not clear we would have stopped this corporate giveaway.

The budget bill also included funding for items which the Governor identified as “critical deficiencies”, although funding levels were less than the Governor sought in most cases:

  • $32M for infrastructure repairs to the MBTA ($18M less than than the Gov requested)
  • $4.2M for testing of contaminated drinking water ($4.2M less than the Gov requested)
  • No funding for early voting in the September 1st state primary election. (The Senate had set aside funding for 5 days of early voting to offset the hardship that holding an election on the busiest moving day of the year would cause)

The bill has been sent to the governor for his signature, and will allow the administration to formally “close the books” on Fiscal year 2019.  Because the budget was completed so late, the State has lost over $1M in interest it would have otherwise earned had the budget been completed on time.