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Group Charged With Reviewing $9 Billion In Tax Breaks In Budget Holds First Meeting

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Karen Kasler
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Tax Commissioner Joe Testa speaks before the first-ever meeting of the Tax Expenditure Review Committee.

Ten months ago state lawmakers created a bipartisan panel with the power to review the state budget and make recommendations for ending billions in tax loopholes. Now that group has met for the first time.

The six lawmakers will review the more than 120 credits, exemptions and other tax breaks in the budget, which amount to around $9 billion a year.  Tax commissioner Joe Testa was the first witness before the panel, which he said is a great idea. “I think anything should be up for review. We’re spending taxpayers’ money, somehow or other, right? And I think taxpayers have a right to have that examined.”

Conservative and liberal groups have made recommendations for eliminations, such as film making tax credits and a tax cut that allows small businesses to pay nothing on up to a quarter of a million dollars in income. The panel is expected to deliver a report by July 1.

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