You may have heard that tax revenues have been running a bit south of expectations here in Massachusetts.

You may also have heard that the administration of Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey and some in the State Legislature are considering ways to allow local cities and towns to raise what are known as "local option" taxes on their citizens without violating the property tax limitations of Proposition 2½.

So what exactly is under discussion on Beacon Hill?

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The Healey Administration is floating the idea of increasing local meals and hotel taxes.

Healey's proposal would allow local communities to increase the maximum tax on hotels, motels, and rentals from six percent to seven percent of the price of a room, increase the meals tax from 0.75 percent to one percent, and add a five percent surcharge on motor vehicle excise taxes.

New Bedford Residents Could Face New Taxes This Year
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media

Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll told a recent legislative hearing, "There are local options that empower cities and towns to make modest adjustments in their local revenue generators, including lodging, meals, and motor vehicle excise that might be the right fit to meet local needs and local economies."

State House News Service (SHNS) recently reported that House Speaker Ron Mariano has shown an "openness towards" another local option tax, a real estate transfer tax.

Mariano reportedly told the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, "If you believe that the issue of housing affordability is a genuine crisis, then we must explore all options that have the potential to make a real difference."

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center says the famed Massachusetts moniker Taxachusetts is "a legacy of the 1970s – and at that time, the label had a basis in reality."

According to the Center, "Overall, the level of taxation in Massachusetts is in the middle of the pack when compared to the rest of the country."

Talk of new taxes could make buying that assessment difficult for some folks.

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