STATE HOUSE, BOSTON ... By week's end, Bay State taxpayers may know whether or
not another tax cut is in their cards. Legislators have an Aug. 31 deadline to decide whether
to use surplus fiscal 2001 budget dollars for other items or let them automatically trigger a tax
That's because reserves in the Stabilization Fund have grown beyond the fund's existing
ceiling. [$1.8 Billion]
With just a week left in August, the House and Senate have been unable to agree on how to
spend the state's resources in the fiscal year that began two months ago or what to do with
the excess dollars left over when the last year ended two months ago. And they also have yet
to write a consensus deficiency budget to close out last year's books.
While they have repeatedly extended the July 1 deadline for having a budget in place, it will
not be quite so easy to extend the Aug. 31 deadline that controls the fate of the
surplus. [$500-plus Million]
Because legislators are still meeting in informal sessions, just one member can object to any
action. Republican lawmakers would prefer that surplus dollars be returned to taxpayers, so
it will most likely require a formal session to alter the law mandating that those dollars be
moved into a tax relief fund as of this Friday.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Speaker Finneran plots to raid Tax Reduction Fund, again
CLT Memo to the Massachusetts House of Representatives:
Keep the Promise yourselves --
Boston Herald editorial: "Rainy-day fund: Big enough already"
Brockton Enterprise editorial: "Rainy day fund is overflowing"
"Now you see it, now you don't"
Legislature's sleight-of-hand raids Tax Reduction Fund