Med device sales still an unresolved issue


The Republican tax deal now working its way through Congress could hit residents of Massachusetts and other high-tax states by cutting deductions on local property and income taxes.

The compromise deal reached by House and Senate negotiators would limit deductions to $10,000 on state and local property taxes or the same amount of income and sales taxes.

But in measures likely to be more popular with some Bay State taxpayers, the deal doubles the standard deduction for married couples to $24,000 and removes measures that would have eliminated the deduction for medical expenses and student loan interest. It also removes a measure to tax graduate-school tuition waivers.

Meanwhile, a tax on medical device sales included in the 2010 Affordable Care Act remains an unresolved issue that is likely to crop up again in 2018 and has the massive Massachusetts industry on pins and needles. The tax puts a levy of 2.3 percent on medical devices and is set to be reinstated in January.

Republican Beth Lindstrom sought to make it an issue in her U.S. Senate campaign by calling out U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren for not pushing repeal during the Senate tax reform debate.

“The medical device industry produces a constant stream of life-saving innovations. As Senator, one of the first things I’ll do will be to file a repeal bill and work with colleagues on both sides of the political aisle to pass it,” Lindstrom said in a statement to State House News Service.

A spokeswoman for Warren said the senior Democratic senator opposed the Republican tax bill, as did all other Democrats in the Senate, making it an inappropriate vehicle to push for other reforms.

Warren has long supported repeal of the medical device tax, though she has favored, like many other Democrats, ensuring that the lost revenue would be replaced.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that elimination of the medical device tax would cost the Treasury $24.4 billion over a decade.

After the tax was collected in 2013, 2014, and 2015, it was delayed by Congress and is set to resume on Jan. 1.

Herald wire services contributed to this report.



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