By SCOTT MACKAY
Advocates for low-income workers in recent years have pushed in legislatures across the nation for increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit. Now, Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker in his budget proposal is asking the commonwealth’s lawmakers to increase the rate from 23 percent to 30 percent.
The move would provide about 450,000 workers with tax relief, according to the Baker administration. In 2015, Massachusetts raised the EITC from 15 percent of the federal credit to the current 23 percent.
Rhode Island’s Democratic governor, Gina Raimondo, has not proposed raising the Ocean State’s rate from the current 15 percent. There is legislation pending in the state Senate, sponsored by Sen. Wally Felag, D-Warren, that would hike the rate to 18 percent in Rhode Island.
If Massachusetts raises the rate to 30 percent, it would be New England’s highest, except for Vermont’s 32 percent, according to Rachel Flum, executive director of the Economic Progress Institute. Connecticut’s rate is 23 percent and Maine’s is 5 percent, according to Flum. New Hampshire has no state income tax.