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Mass. Republican Lawmakers Propose Tax Credit

Two weeks before taking office, a group of incoming Republican lawmakers is proposing a tax credit for all Massachusetts residents that would offset most, if not all, of what residents pay in state sales tax.

The GOP legislators say they would rather have Bay State residents "Live Free and Buy" than shop in New Hampshire, which has no sales tax, or online, where retailers don't collect sales tax.

"On your state income tax form, you could collect up to $300 of a tax credit, which is a dollar-for-dollar tax credit off of your income tax, for every dollar that you've spent on your Massachusetts sales tax," said Rep.-elect Dan Winslow, of Norfolk.

The Republicans argue the plan will help create jobs and give a boost to the state's economy. Winslow says the proposal would put Massachusetts on an even playing field with New Hampshire.

"We've got to get in the game, and not let them eat our lunch, tax-free every day in Massachusetts." Winslow said.

Winslow says at most the credit would cost state government $500 million, but argues the economic benefits would offset the reduced revenues.

The proposal faces an uncertain future in the overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature.

This program aired on December 22, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Steve Brown Twitter Reporter/Anchor
Steve Brown is a veteran broadcast journalist who serves as WBUR's State House reporter.

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