Phineas Baxandall

Policy Director

Phineas Baxandall is the Policy Director at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. His past research at MassBudget focused on transportation, tax policy, and unemployment.

Before joining MassBudget, Phineas directed the Transportation and Tax & Budget programs for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and its network of 30 state affiliate organizations.

Prior to his work with U.S. PIRG, Phineas was Assistant Director at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He was a teaching fellow for eight years at Harvard’s Committee for Degrees in Social Studies, where he lectured on social policy and political economy. He has published on a variety of topics in political economy and public policy, and his 2004 book, Constructing Unemployment, was recently republished by Routledge press.

Phineas earned a Ph.D. from MIT in Political Science and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

Recent

How Slow Sales Tax Growth Causes Funding Problems for the MBTA

Almost 20 years ago, a penny of the sales tax was dedicated to the MBTA to be a steadily growing source of revenue for the transit system. But despite some help from the Legislature, the sales tax transfer has grown slower than the economy, creating a persistent gap between the projected funds and actual sales tax transfers. Sales taxes have underperformed for the MBTA as a result of a shift to services, some transactions moving online, and exclusion of fast-growing meals tax revenues from the MBTA. An appendix explains the formula for determining the MBTA sales tax transfer and how other sales taxes are allocated.

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Massachusetts Ranks About Average for Taxes in FY 2015

This fact sheets examines where Massachusetts ranks compared to other states in terms of the level of state and local taxation in 2015, the most recent year for which data is currently available.

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Where does the Taxachusetts Label Come From, 2017 update

Massachusetts’ taxes are about average for the United States. Where then does the label ‘Taxachusetts’ come from? The answer has much more to do with history than reality.

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