Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

January 28, 2021

Baker budget incentivizes hiring employees with disabilities

Photo | SHNS | Pool Gov. Charlie Baker announcing coronavirus pandemic response details at the Worcester Senior Center

Fresh on the heels of a legislative report that identified ways Massachusetts could promote the employment of people with physical or intellectual disabilities, Gov. Charlie Baker's latest budget proposal revived his recommendation to establish a tax credit for companies that hire people with disabilities.

Policy sections of the governor's budget call for a $2,000 tax credit for certain businesses that employ an individual with a disability for a minimum of 18 consecutive months. Budget chief Michael Heffernan said the administration filed the same proposal a year ago. It would become effective for hires on July 1, 2021 or later and the credit would kick in for the tax year starting Jan. 1, 2023.

As of 2019, about 80 percent of individuals without disabilities in Massachusetts were employed while just 38.2 percent of people with disabilities were employed, the WorkAbility subcommittee of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities found.

After spending nearly two years studying workforce development for people with disabilities, the subcommittee led by Rep. Josh Cutler earlier this month released a 33-page report outlining ways state government could address the issue, including a recommendation that the state establish its own employer tax credit and promote existing federal ones.

"A recurring, and encouraging, theme in our conversations with Bay State business leaders is the extent to which many have embraced disability inclusive hiring practices into their business models, not just for altruistic or public relations purposes, but as a tangible boost to their bottom line," Cutler wrote in a letter that accompanied the subcommittee's report. "Spreading this message to smaller and mid-sized businesses that do not necessarily have the same institutional knowledge or advantages is paramount. And some nudges and nurturing from the Commonwealth can help."

The subcommittee said New York, Louisiana, Delaware, Iowa, North Dakota and Tennessee offer state tax credits for companies that hire people with disabilities (similar to Baker's proposal), and other states including Arizona, Iowa, Kansas and Maryland allow businesses to claim credits for some costs of making their workplaces accessible.

Sign up for Enews

WBJ Web Partners

Related Content


Order a PDF