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.
This fact sheet examines the extent to which the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and transit agencies across the state rely on federal sources of revenue for their operations and capital investment. It describes the federal grants that are most vulnerable to near-term budget cuts and how larger sums of federal transportation funding could face cuts after 2020.
Where do the resources come from to operate Massachusetts’ transportation system, and where is the money spent? A detailed chart shows state revenues and spending for transportation operations and debt service in Fiscal Year 2015. The width of each arrows represents the amount of dollars that flow from one source or activity to another.
Eleven other states extend taxes on short-term rentals such as Airbnb. The factsheet explains the current Massachusetts exemption for short-term residential rentals and how taxing these bookings would work. It explains recent research on how rentals such as Airbnb can compete with traditional accommodations, and how these operations sometimes resemble a full-time business. It examines how much revenue the room occupancy tax currently generates and how much additional revenue would be raised if rentals such as Airbnb were included.