- 640 bridges are structurally deficient, according to the state’s most comprehensive database;
- Massachusetts’ transportation systems rank 47th in the nation for commute times, with Greater Boston having the worst traffic congestion in the nation;
- Drivers in the region lost an average of 149 hours of their lives to traffic in 2019, costing $2,205 per driver in lost time;
- Residents of color are disproportionately impacted, with commute times for Black and Asian transit users 10 percent longer than those of white transit users on average; and
- Transportation is also the largest and fastest-growing source of climate emissions in the state, accounting for 42 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in 2017.
Commuters Beware: 640 Bridges are Structurally Deficient in Massachusetts
As the Legislature considers elements of a possible tax package, it is worth focusing on a number of interrelated corporate tax issues that are now – or may become – part of the mix. At the heart of these interrelated issues is a problematic, state-level corporate tax break referred to as FAS 109.
Sometimes a “surplus” is not really a surplus at all, and the term “tax surplus” can be particularly misleading. A tax surplus occurs when tax collections come in higher than the amount expected when the state created its budget at the beginning of the fiscal year. When that initial estimate turns out to be too low, there is a “surplus.” It does not mean that the state budget has already met the needs of the moment or that there is extra unneeded revenue.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center was asked to outline options for changes to the estate tax that would preserve revenue, maintain progressivity, and also cut taxes on or exempt estates with a taxable value up to around $1.2 million. Since households subject to the estate tax are among the state’s wealthiest taxpayers, any reductions to revenue from the estate tax represent a transfer of wealth from the Commonwealth to its wealthiest families. Even so, some options are better than others.