Phineas Baxandall

Senior Analyst & Advocacy Director

Phineas Baxandall is a Senior Analyst & Advocacy Director at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, focusing his research on transportation and tax revenue, as well as unemployment and EITC. He also serves as strategist and point person on MassBudget’s advocacy efforts.

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

Unemployment Insurance Saved the Massachusetts Economy. How Can We Ensure It Will Be Strong for the Future?

Many Massachusetts businesses today owe their survival in part to UI sustaining customers’ demand for products and services. Over the years, even though the UI …

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State Borrowing is No Substitute for New Revenue in Dealing with the COVID-19 Economic Downturn

States rely on borrowing to manage their finances in good times and bad. Yet borrowing is not a substitute for raising the revenue needed for an economic recovery. Policymakers should look to raising progressive new revenues paired with limited borrowing to avoid cuts to critical public spending.

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Municipal Budgets, Local Aid, and Property Taxes Amid COVID-19

As a result of the pandemic, municipalities face increased spending needs and declining revenues. Many have the ability to raise property taxes, though others are constrained by Proposition 2 1/2. Moreover, property taxes tend to fall hardest on those with lower incomes. Without sufficient municipal aid, cities and towns may be forced to make public cuts which would slow the economic recovery.

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