Economics professor breaks down proposed Massachusetts inflation relief checks

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -There are lingering questions about the inflation relief checks that could be going out to many in the bay state this fall. One of them is why there is a minimum income restriction attached to this proposal.

“The state collected a lot more tax revenue than they were expected about $2 billion more,” said Karl Petrick, an economics professor at Western New England University.

Petrick broke down where the state is getting the money from for the inflation relief checks proposed by legislative leaders on Thursday.

The state already handed out pandemic relief to taxpayers, two $500 checks to low-income households based on the 2020 and 2021 tax returns.

This would be the third round for middle-class families. $250 for single filers and $500 for joint filers, for those making at least $38,000 a year. But, no more than $100,000 for singles and $150,000 jointly.

Petrick said this would be funded with the extra tax revenue the state has taken in.

“Massachusetts has a projected budget surplus right now of about $3.6 billion,” Petrick said.

One thing we wanted to get answers on about the proposed state checks is why is the minimum income requirement $38,000.

“The idea with this bill is that the lower-income households already got some relief. In those two rounds of stimulus checks. So this one is specifically geared towards-middle class incomes,” Petrick explained.

The legislative session ends Sunday, July 31st at midnight. We asked Petrick, does he think Governor Charlie Baker will sign off on this bill if it hits his desk.

“I would suspect he’ll go for this because it is a quick win. There’s a lot of bipartisan support on the hill for this. as a quick way to get some money out,” Petrick said.

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