Rescue plan

$475,000 for the district in the American Rescue Plan Act

Essex’s 4th District as it currently stands. Most of it will become 2nd Essex under redistricting.

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TOPSFIELD – A recently passed economic development bill will bring $475,000 to Essex’s 4th District, according to state Rep. Jamie Belsito.

Economic development contains a total of $4.2 billion for the state, and funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act, surplus funds, and fiscal year 2022 bonds.

“This bill also makes important changes to the Commonwealth tax code that will help families, seniors and people living on fixed incomes,” Belsito said.

She said she was able to secure $475,000 for the Essex 4th District communities of Rowley, Ipswich, Topsfield, Hamilton, Wenham and Manchester.

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The funds will go towards improving disabled playgrounds in Rowley, direct support for the Acord food pantry in Hamilton, a bioretention system in Wenham and improving streetscape and beautification in Topsfield .

“My constituents and communities have kept me up to date with the economic challenges they have faced as we all continue to navigate through COVID,” Belsito said.

“The bill supports working families, seniors and renters. We invest in our main streets and our environment. I couldn’t be more proud of this bill and what I’m able to bring to my district,” she said.

Strong points

Other highlights of the Economic Development Bill include:

  • Increase the child and dependent credit from $180 per child to $310 per child, as well as remove the current $360 cap for two or more children. This is expected to affect more than 700,000 families.
  • Increase the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 30% to 40% of the federal credit. This is expected to affect approximately 396,000 taxpayers with incomes below $57,000.
  • Main circuit breaker tax credit increased from $750 to $1,755. Currently, the Ministry of Revenue caps this credit at $1,170 due to cost-of-living adjustments above the $750 set by law. Its increase to $1,755 in the law is expected to impact more than 100,000 taxpayers who own or rent residential property in Massachusetts as their primary residence.
  • Increase the rental deduction limit from $3,000 to $4,000. This should affect approximately 881,000 taxpayers.
  • Raise the estate tax threshold from $1 million to $2 million and eliminate the “cliff edge” effect that would tax only the value of the estate that exceeds $2 million, not the entire succession. This should affect approximately 2,500 taxpayers.
Jamie Belsito at the Memorial Day parade in Ipswich (file photo)

Health and social services

  • $350 million for hospitals in financial difficulty
  • $165 million for workforce needs in nursing facilities
  • $100 million for additional human service provider tariffs
  • $80 million for community health centers
  • $30 million to support nursing homes across the Commonwealth
  • $25 million to tackle food insecurity across the Commonwealth
  • $15 million for grants to reproductive rights providers for security, labor and educational needs
  • $15 million for grants to nonprofits and community organizations to address gun violence and gun violence trauma

Environment

  • $175 million for upgrades to state parks and recreation facilities, including $25 million for communities of color
  • $125 million for environmental justice communities
  • $100 million for seaport development
  • $100 million for the Clean Water Trust Fund

Economic development

  • $300 million for the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund
  • $125 million for small businesses, including $75 million for minority-owned businesses
  • $50 million for broadband investments in underserved communities
  • $75 million in grants to Commonwealth hotels that have suffered financial losses during the pandemic

Lodging

  • $100 million for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund
  • $75 million for minority-owned housing development

Bonding

The House bill also includes $1.26 billion in bond allocations to better support economic growth and stability in the Commonwealth. Highlights include:

  • $400 million for the MassWorks Infrastructure Competitive Grant Program to help municipalities and other public entities support and accelerate housing production
  • $200 million for the Technology Matching Grants program that helps various organizations compete for federal innovation grants
  • $95 million for ADA compliance projects
  • $73 million for the Housing Stabilization and Investment Fund