The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center is regularly featured in newspapers, on the radio, on blogs, and anywhere reliable information is needed.

In The News

Liberal groups propose higher tax for top earners: Ballot measure would aid transit projects, schools

Boston Globe, July 23, 2015

(T)he new revenue would allow the state to reverse what they say is chronic underinvestment in areas such as early education and public transit. “That would help a lot of families around Massachusetts,” said Noah Berger, president of the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “It would also strengthen our economy in the long run.”

Are US children being left behind in economic recovery? Report finds more living in poverty than before the Great Recession

Boston Globe, July 21, 2015

Twenty-two percent of American children were living in poverty in 2013 compared with 18 percent in 2008, according to the latest Kids Count Data Book, with poverty rates nearly double among African-Americans and American Indians and problems most severe in South and Southwest.

Report: Despite economic recovery, poverty a problem in state, Brockton

Brockton Enterprise, July 21, 2015

A national survey of the economic, educational, health and community well-being of children, released on Tuesday, shows that despite years of economic recovery, more children in Massachusetts are living in poverty than during the Great Recession. About one in six children – 16 percent – in Massachusetts is stranded in poverty. That is up from 12 percent in 2008, according to the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

How Much It Would Cost To Make College Free In Massachusetts… Or At Least Less Expensive

WBUR Learning Lab, July 21, 2015

In a report released this week, the nonpartisan Boston-based policy analysis group explores options that would make public higher education in Massachusetts have a much more affordable price tag: free. The options they explore would come with a cost of between $325 million and $631 million a year for the state, with various methods of eliminating tuition and fees for in-state students at community colleges and state universities. “Making higher education much more affordable and making it possible for kids to graduate debt-free would not only help those kids and our economy, but it’s something that could be done at a reasonable cost,” said Noah Berger, president of Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Bringing an end to film tax credits

Boston Globe, July 16, 2015

According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, the film program has generated only 430 net jobs each year for Massachusetts residents. Those jobs paid an average salary of $70,000, yet each one cost the state more than $119,000. Similarly, the subsidies have returned only about 14 cents in new revenue to the Commonwealth for every taxpayer dollar forgone.

EITC helps the working middle class

Boston Globe, July 14, 2015

Increasing the EITC fosters the strength of hard-working families. According to the Massachusetts Center for Budget and Policy, the federal EITC and the federal Child Tax Credit combined to lift 9.4 million Americans out of poverty in 2013, five million of them children. In Massachusetts, these two federal tax credits — even without figuring in the state’s separate EITC — combined to help keep roughly 74,000 Massachusetts children out of poverty.

State budget supports Baker on MBTA overhaul

Boston Globe, July 7, 2015

Noah Berger, the president of the liberal-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said the earned income tax credit increase “will help hundreds of thousands of working families pay for basic necessities like clothing and nutritious food for their kids.” He pointed to studies that he said show “when the income of low-wage families increases, there are long-term positive effects on the children: They do better in school and earn more as adults.”

Momentum grows for earned income credit

Littleton Independent, June 18, 2015

“Doubling the state Earned Income Tax Credit could raise incomes of some low-income working families by $900 per year,” said Noah Berger, executive director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “Money could be used for basic necessities such as rent, food and taking care of kids, or it could be used for things like after-school programs.”

The ACA is Good For Massachusetts (Budget Impact Edition)

Health Care For All Blog, June 17, 2015

The study correctly identifies health spending growth as the most critical ongoing budget problem. The boost in federal funds doesn't affect long-term growth trends. We must continue to take steps to reduce health care cost growth.

Temporary Medicaid coverage after Massachusetts Health Exchange website failed cost $650 million, state says

Springfield Republican, June 16, 2015

A new study by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center found that while state spending on MassHealth and related health care costs increased by $1.17 billion between fiscal year 2014 and 2015, federal reimbursements for health care grew by $1.02 billion. Much of this is due to higher federal reimbursement rates when the state expanded eligibility for MassHealth and other subsidized health insurance programs.

To 'be great,' we have to stop underfunding public universities

Springfield Republican, June 15, 2015

Massachusetts cut state funding per student by 36.3 percent between fiscal years 2008 and 2014, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. That's more than 42 other states over the same period of time, including Texas and every New England state except New Hampshire, which was a close sixth. The statistics are nearly as stark over the past 15 years.

Looming cut to kindergarten grants alarming

MetroWest Daily News, June 13, 2015

All districts with kindergarten-aged students must provide at least a part-time program - a total of 425 hours per school year or roughly 2.5 hours per day, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Looming cut to kindergarten grants alarming

Hudson Sun, June 13, 2015

All districts with kindergarten-aged students must provide at least a part-time program - a total of 425 hours per school year or roughly 2.5 hours per day, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Mara Dolan Interview

980 WCAP, June 1, 2015

For audio of Noah's interview discussing the Pacheco Law, please go here: https://soundcloud.com/the-mara-dolan-show/the-mara-dolan-show-with-guest-noah-berger

Senate tax plan would benefit all residents

The Salem News, June 1, 2015

In analyzing the impact of these reductions, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center reported that 25 percent of the benefits have gone to the top 1 percent of earners making an average annual salary of $2.57 million.

Norwood Rep. John Rogers talks Earned Income Tax Credit

Norwood Transcript & Bulletin, June 1, 2015

“Doubling the state Earned Income Tax Credit could raise incomes of some low-income working families by $900 per year,” said Noah Berger, executive director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “Money could be used for basic necessities such as rent, food and taking care of kids, or it could be used for things like after-school programs.”

Boost participation in school breakfast programs

Boston Globe, May 31, 2015

A report by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, which was commissioned by the Eos Foundation, calculated that statewide, low-income schools would bring in an additional $25 million per year in breakfast reimbursement if breakfast participation rose to 80 percent.

Elevated concern: More than 1 in 5 elevators lack inspection

Boston Herald, May 27, 2015

This year’s budget allowed the department to boost its roster to as high as 70 inspectors, using an additional $2.8 million — paid for through inspection fees — for the hires, according to an analysis last year by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Senate, Baker at odds over how to help low-income workers

Boston Globe, May 27, 2015

Across the country, more than one of every five households gets money through the EITC. That includes more than 400,000 tax filers in Massachusetts, according to an analysis by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Bay State losing ground as national leader: Editorial

Springfield Republican, May 25, 2015

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 16 percent of children age out of the child welfare system without a permanent family, compared to 10 percent nationally. Seventeen percent are placed in group homes, as opposed to 14 percent nationally, and the state also trails in placing children with relatives.

MA Lags in “Family Placement” for Kids in Child Welfare

Public News Service, May 19, 2015

Noah Berger, president with the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, says there is significant room for improvement when it comes to kinship care. "When a child needs to be taken out of their home, it can often be an advantage for that child to be placed with a grandparent or an aunt," says Berger. "Massachusetts is doing more of that but we still lag behind the national average in terms of how many kids get to those kin placements."

Report: Massachusetts trails in placing foster children with families

Springfield Republican, May 19, 2015

A new report released Tuesday finds that Massachusetts trails the national average when it comes to placing foster children with families.

Senate votes to increase state’s earned income tax credit

Boston Globe, May 19, 2015

An analysis by the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center shows the mix of tax changes approved by the state Senate — freezing the income tax, increasing the earned income tax credit, and bumping up the personal exemptions — would have a relatively modest impact on most taxpayers when compared with the alternative: allowing the state income tax rate to decline, as expected, from 5.15 to 5.1 percent next year under a formula designed to eventually bring the rate down to 5 percent.

Mass. early retirement push: Fears voiced about lack of experienced workers

Worcester Telegram & Gazette, May 16, 2015

Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said the problem is not just the number of qualified people leaving, but the fact they're all leaving at once creating a jolt to the system. "There is a danger of brain drain," Berger said. "If we have four or five thousand people leave rapidly there's a danger that a lot of those people may have skills and expertise that are difficult to replace."

Momentum grows for doubling of earned income credit

Brockton Enterprise, May 10, 2015

“Doubling the state Earned Income Tax Credit could raise incomes of some low-income working families by $900 per year,” said Noah Berger, executive director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “Money could be used for basic necessities such as rent, food and taking care of kids, or it could be used for things like after-school programs.”

Lewis, Berger talk budget at Memorial Hall

Melrose Free Press, May 10, 2015

“If you think of how much income is created in Massachusetts, we have to think about how much of that we’ll spend on state services,” Berger said. “Taxes comes out to about 10 percent of our income. That’s pretty close to the national average. It’s a bit surprising because people think of us as ‘Taxachusetts.’”

Report: Reducing Class Sizes To 15 Could Boost School Achievement

WBUR Learning Lab, May 6, 2015

“What we see in looking at states that have reduced class sizes is that if you do it right — that is if you can get class sizes in the early grades down to about 15 students with well qualified teachers — it can have very significant effect in improving student learning,” Noah Berger, president of MassBudget, said.

State clears way for 5,000 workers to retire early Some fear move may hurt services

Boston Globe, May 5, 2015

Noah Berger, president of the liberal-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said early retirement backers hope the state will be able to deliver the same quality of services with fewer people. But, “the question is whether the personnel loss will lead to things like shorter hours at our state pools and longer lines at the Registry” of Motor Vehicles.

Where in Mass. are people most likely to claim workers' tax credit?

Springfield Republican, May 1, 2015

Typically, between 415,000 and 430,000 Massachusetts residents claim the credit each year. The state credit gives a maximum of $936 a year. It applies to families earning up to $52,400 annually for a married couple with three children, with lower income levels for smaller household sizes.

Massachusetts AG Maura Healey files draft regulations to implement Earned Sick Time Law

Springfield Republican, April 27, 2015

It has been estimated by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a research group, that 40 percent of workers in Springfield have no earned paid sick leave, with some 54 percent of workers earning less than $35,000 statewide having no earned paid sick leave.

House leaders target education, transportation, local aid

South Coast Today, April 26, 2015

“The House Ways and Means budget proposal has some good news for young children and their families: it provides a small increase for early education and care and it rejects the governor’s proposal to eliminate kindergarten expansion grants,” Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center executive director Noah Berger said in a statement. “Like the governor’s proposal, however, it provides mostly short-term solutions to long-term problems.”

Similarities, and key differences between House, Baker budgets

The Berkshire Eagle, April 15, 2015

Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said he was similarly pleased to see increases in education funding, especially to help move over 800 children off the waiting list for early education programs. Berger, however, said the bill provides only "short-term solutions to long-term problems" by diverting some capital gains taxes away from reserves to support spending and by pushing off major MassHealth expenses into fiscal 2017.

$38 billion budget plan released by Massachusetts House committee

Springfield Republican, April 15, 2015

Noah Berger, president of the liberal-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said the proposal "has some good news for young children and their families" through the restoration of money to fund kindergarten expansion grants. But Berger criticized the House committee for adopting a proposal that Baker made to use capital gains tax revenue that would otherwise have gone into the rainy day fund.

Wage growth staggering behind economy’s growth

WWLP News Channel 20, April 14, 2015

TV segment on the minimum wage in Massachusetts, citing MassBudget data.

Rainy day fund taking hits: Is it really raining?

Commonwealth Magazine, April 14, 2015

Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a nonprofit that examines how budget and tax policies affect low and moderate income people, says state officials need to either boost the state’s revenues or cut spending.

House members back film credit: Dispute is their first with Baker

Boston Globe, April 3, 2015

"Lawmakers say there is no organized opposition to the film tax credit to serve as a counterweight to the industry. But they note that Massachusetts think tanks across the ideological spectrum, from the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center to the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, have been critical of the program."

Reel trouble: Film industry fights Baker's plan to scrap tax credit

The Salem News, March 31, 2015

"There is no evidence the tax credit can develop a permanent film production industry in the state, one that is not dependent on large tax subsidies to survive,” the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Budget Center, a think tank, said in recent report on the tax subsidy. “What is certain is that the high cost of the tax credit limits our ability to invest in other programs with proven track records to build more broadly-shared prosperity in the state.”

State employee retirement incentive could cause exodus in revenue, welfare, transportation, mental health agencies

Springfield Republican, March 27, 2015

Berger said the loss of auditors at the Department of Revenue would make it harder to identify tax evasion and capture revenue.

Baker’s budget plan shifts Medicaid payments

Boston Globe, March 6, 2015

Noah Berger, president of the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said he sees in Baker’s budget “a postponement of really addressing the long-term challenges. In Medicaid, we see significant shifting of costs from” the new fiscal year to the one that begins in July 2016. That, he said, “has the positive effect of avoiding painful cuts that could have long-term negative effects on the Commonwealth this year, but mean that we will continue to face real challenges in the years ahead.”

Working under the weather: Boston low-wage laborers beaten down by winter

Al Jazeera America, March 6, 2015

“Over a long period of time, the state has chronically underfunded our public transportation system so that trains get older and older and systems break down when we have bad weather,” said Noah Berger, the executive director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Proposal to end Massachusetts film tax credit provokes strong reactions

Boston Globe, March 5, 2015

“Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit is a very good use of those funds. That’s something that directly raises the wages of 400,000 people in Massachusetts,” said Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “Paying a star’s salary isn’t a very good way of helping the Massachusetts economy.”

Charlie Baker: Massachusetts budget proposal 'right-sizes' government while investing in priorities like transportation

Springfield Republican/MassLive, March 4, 2015

"The budget doesn't make significant new investments in those areas," Berger said. "It doesn't do anything to expand early education and care. It doesn't do anything to make higher education more affordable. Spending on public transportation is way below what everyone knows it would take to fix our public transportation system."

Gov. Baker Proposes Eliminating Film Tax Credit

WBUR, March 4, 2015

“It strengthens the economy because the money that we provide to those low-wage working people they spend right in the local community,” Berger said. “And I think this is a good example of looking at how we’re spending our economic development resources and saying, is there a better way of spending $80 million than subsidizing Hollywood movie producers?”

Gov. Baker Unveils $38B Budget Plan for Mass.

NECN, March 4, 2015

Quote from Noah Berger on NECN

Gov. Baker unveils $38B state budget plan

WCVB Channel 5, March 4, 2015

Quote from Noah Berger on WCVB Channel 5

End Mass. film tax credit

Boston Globe, March 3, 2015

Mass. budget shortfall could hit $1.5 billion

Boston Globe, February 25, 2015

More Accurate Poverty Measure for MA and Nation

Public News Service, February 25, 2015

Welfare reform major test for Rosenberg’s Senate leadership

Daily Hampshire Gazette, February 24, 2015

It’s Time to Address Homelessness

The Daily Free Press, February 20, 2015

Lawmakers consider budget fixes

Boston Globe, February 3, 2015

The other deflategate: our state budget

Boston Globe, January 23, 2015

Analysts expect state budget woes to continue

Boston Herald, January 22, 2015

Baker cites $765 million budget shortfall

Boston Globe, January 20, 2015

Massachusetts feels impact of tax cut

Woburn Advocate, January 11, 2015

Many will benefit from the minimum wage hike

WWLP News Channel 20, January 1, 2015

Minimum wage rising in much of US

Boston Globe, January 1, 2015

Why Have A Longer School Day?

WBUR Learning Lab, December 30, 2014

Drop in income tax will cost state $70M

South Coast Today, December 20, 2014

Study: Mass. not among the worst for taxes

WWLP News Channel 20, December 19, 2014

Survey finds acute homelessness in Boston

Boston Globe, December 11, 2014

Poverty rate study reveals troubling numbers

WWLP News Channel 20, November 13, 2014

Poverty rate in Mass. highest since 1960

Boston Globe, November 10, 2014

Low-wage workers applaud sick-time victory

Boston Globe, November 5, 2014

Question 4: Healthy debate over sick leave

Cape Cod Times, November 2, 2014

A ‘yes’ on Question 4 will help Dorchester

Dorchester Reporter, October 22, 2014

Baker opposes sick-time ballot question

Lowell Sun, September 30, 2014

Many Lack Paid Sick Time

Boston Globe, September 30, 2014

GOP’s Baker proposes earned sick time alternative: 40% of workers in Springfield do not get time off

WWLP News Channel 20, September 29, 2014

TV news story cites findings from MassBudget paper "Earned Paid Sick Time by the Numbers: Regional and Local Access In Massachusetts."

Center Argues for Earned Paid Sick Time

Boston Neighborhood Network News, September 25, 2014

Kerrigan touts pre-K education at St. Agnes

Worcester Telegram & Gazette, September 24, 2014

Worcester’s Emerging Film Industry: Boon or Bust?

Go Local Worcester, September 24, 2014

Child poverty continues to climb in Mass.

Boston Globe, September 22, 2014

Cost of film tax credit: $108,000 per Mass. job

Boston Globe, September 19, 2014

Coakley, GOP exchange jabs on early ed costs

Boston.com, September 16, 2014

Graduated tax rates seen as one strategy for states like Mass.

Boston Globe, September 15, 2014

The article quotes Noah Berger as saying that tax changes over the last 15 years that have benefitted the wealthy, have meant that "the lowest income households — those on living less than $21,000 a year — are paying 9.5 percent of their income toward state and local taxes while those in the top 1 percent — those earning about $700,000 or more — are paying just 6 percent."

New study on 'income inequality' looks at Mass.

Attleboro Sun Chronicle, September 14, 2014

Our Kids in MA Are Alright, But We Can Do Better

Huffington Post, September 9, 2014

State considers new charter schools

Wicked Local Bourne, August 22, 2014

The article says: "A recent panel discussion held in Boston to launch an educational research partnership between the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy focused on several topics, including alternative routes to a high school diploma."

Researchers explore diverse approaches to education

Taunton Daily Gazette, August 20, 2014

Noah Berger ... presented data showing that the higher the average level of education is in a state, the higher that state’s wages typically are.

Pricing out state university students

Boston Globe, August 5, 2014

"Even with the nation’s third-highest jump in higher-ed spending from FY 2012 to FY 2014, Massachusetts is still 21 percent below its spending levels of 2001: the $1.2 billion set aside in fiscal 2015 does not come close to the $1.5 billion in 2001 inflation-adjusted dollars."

Tax cuts that continue to haunt Mass

Boston Globe - Op-Ed, February 12, 2013

Tax policy debates are about how we pay for the things we do together for our communities, our families, and our economy. Working together through government allows us to accomplish things that are vital to us as a Commonwealth and that we can't do alone...About 15 years ago, at the height of the dot-com bubble, our state made tax policy choices that have shaped state policy ever since...The state enacted a series of cuts to the income tax that are now costing us close to $3 billion a year. We cut the tax rate on most income from 5.95 percent to 5.3 percent, costing over $1.5 billion. We cut the tax rate on dividends and interest from 12 percent to 5.3 percent, costing about $850 million. We increased the personal deduction to $4,400, costing $550 million.

Look at what the state is doing right

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, January 23, 2011

WITH THE governor scheduled to file his budget proposal for the coming year on Wednesday, and the Commonwealth facing a budget gap of close to $2 billion, knowing that our government provides services as efficiently as possible will be more important than ever.