Archive

Welcome to our collection of archived content published before 2018, back to 2010. If you have any issues finding specific content or would like older content not currently posted here, please contact info@massbudget.org.

Publications from before 2018

Extending Improvements to Tax Credits for Lower-Income Workers and Their Families

This fall, Congress will debate whether to extend tax cuts adopted over the past decade. While there appears to be general agreement among policymakers that the major middle-class tax cuts should be extended — and significant debate about whether the tax cuts that benefit only the highest-income taxpayers ought to continue — there has been less attention paid to the fate of tax provisions that are targeted at lower-income working families.

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Expiring Federal Tax Cuts: Costs and Beneficiaries of Extending Cuts Targeted at Highest-Income Taxpayers

In the coming weeks, the U.S. House and Senate may debate whether to extend (or make permanent) all or only some of the Bush-era income tax cuts. The Congressional debate most likely will focus on whether to extend the tax cuts that affect only the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans–those households with adjusted gross income (AGI) above $200,000 for single filers and $250,000 for married couples.

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No Significant Rise in Poverty in MA in 2009

Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual update of state-level poverty rates from the American Community Survey (ACS). It indicates no statistically significant change in the overall poverty rate in Massachusetts from 2008 to 2009.

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Examining Tax Fairness

Determining who is affected most by the state’s tax system, as well as individual taxes, is important in considering the fairness of tax policy changes. While most taxes in Massachusetts have a fixed rate — for example, the state has a flat 5.3 percent income tax — different income groups are affected differently by each tax. These differences can be explained in terms of regressivity and progressivity–how taxes vary by income level.

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How Will New Tax on Alcohol Affect Revenues?

As part of a package of sales tax changes that went into effect in 2009, Massachusetts’ general sales tax rate was raised from 5 percent to 6.25 percent and alcoholic beverages were made newly subject to the general sales tax.

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Jobs and the Massachusetts Economy on Labor Day 2010

Labor Day 2010 will be a challenging day for working people across America. The nation is in the third year of a terrible economic crisis, one that has claimed a larger percentage of US jobs than any other recession since the Great Depression. Adding to the pain, at 31 months since the latest recession officially began, the US now has regained a far smaller share of those jobs than in past recessions.

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FMAP and an Education Jobs Fund: State Fiscal Relief To Strengthen the National Economy, Reduce State Budget Cuts, and Create Jobs

Last week the US Senate passed a bill that would approve extended state fiscal relief from the federal government, and the US House is reconvening today to vote on the extension. The legislation would provide approximately $655 million to Massachusetts — $450 million in enhanced Medicaid (FMAP) reimbursements, which is $250 million less than the $700 million originally anticipated, and another $205 million in funding for education through a new Education Jobs Fund.

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Massachusetts Ranks 31st in Taxes in FY 2008

The amount of state and local taxes paid in Massachusetts as a share of state personal income remained well below the U.S. average in Fiscal Year 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s newly updated survey of State and Local Government Finances.

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Budget Monitor: The Senate Fiscal Year 2011 Budget

During its budget debate, the Senate added about two-tenths of 1 percent to the budget’s bottom line. The Senate did not adopt any new taxes or appropriate money from the stabilization fund. The modest increases approved were paid for by identifying revenues that are expected to be available but were not counted on in the Senate Ways & Means proposal (for example, the final Senate budget, relying on recent trends, assumes that revenue from the lottery will be approximately $21 million higher in FY 2011 than had been anticipated).

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Budget Monitor: The Senate Ways & Means Fiscal Year 2011 Budget

The Senate Ways & Means (SWM) budget proposal addresses a budget gap of close to $3 billion by recommending significant budget cuts and relying heavily on assistance from the federal government. It does not include the Governor’s tax reform proposals, or other new taxes. Also unlike the Governor’s proposal, it does not draw on the state “Rainy Day” fund. It does, however, rely on some other temporary state revenue sources and some one-time savings.

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Budget Monitor: The Fiscal Year 2011 House Budget

The most significant theme from the House budget debate is how little happened. Facing a budget gap of approximately $3 billion, it would have been irresponsible for the House to adopt significant spending amendments without offsetting revenue — and it did not. The House could have reduced the severity of budget cuts by adopting revenue measures, but it chose not to do so.

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Budget Monitor: The House Ways & Means Fiscal Year 2011 Budget

The House Ways & Means (HWM) budget proposal relies primarily on budget cuts and federal assistance to address a budget gap of approximately $3 billion. The HWM proposal recommends over $1 billion in budget cuts and more than $1.5 billion in temporary revenue from the federal government, primarily stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

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Budget Brief: Understanding the State Budget is Getting Easier

This Budget Brief provides an overview of the recent reforms that make it easier to understand the state budget (or, that make it more transparent), highlights some new improvements in that regard this year, and offers an example of how the budget could present important information even more clearly.

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