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Publications from before 2018
This Facts At A Glance describes methodological issues regarding the comparison of tax and spending levels between different time periods or different states.
This Facts At A Glance explains the basic structure of the state’s Chapter 70 formula for distributing education aid to local school districts.
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.
This primer provides an overview of the Commonwealth’s tax system as well as clear information and analysis of how Massachusetts compares to other states and how our state’s tax system has changed over time. Also please see individual fact sheets on the income tax, the sales tax, tax fairness, and on the “Taxachusetts” label.
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.
Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual update of state-level data on household income from the American Community Survey (ACS).
As a result of the Great Recession, the year 2009 saw a significant increase in the national poverty rate. The poverty rate rose to 14.3 percent in 2009 from 13.2 percent in 2008, new Census Bureau data show.
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.
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.
Public School Funding in Massachusetts: Where We Are, What Has Changed, and How We Compare to Other States
Recently released Fiscal Year 2008 education spending data from the US Census Bureau provide important information on long-term spending trends in Massachusetts and help paint a picture of the state’s commitment to elementary and secondary public education. (Updated Sept. 14, 2010).
The Education Jobs Fund, a $10 billion federal grant fund to be spent during the FY 2011 school year for the retention and creation of education jobs in elementary and secondary schools, will provide approximately $204 million to Massachusetts and fund an estimated 2,900 jobs in the state.
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.
A series of facts sheets on state budget cuts during the fiscal crisis in the following areas: Overview.
Many states have begun to study the impact and potential of establishing UVRA programs. UVRAs provide a viable and cost-effective option for businesses that do not provide retirement plans for their employees–particularly small businesses, which employ thousands of workers but face the highest barriers in providing plans.
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.
This Budget Monitor examines each category of the budget, describing the FY 2011 post-veto spending levels, and comparing them to the FY 2010 budget and to recommendations from earlier in the budget process.
In economic development legislation under consideration in the House, there are proposals for new corporate tax breaks. This Facts At a Glance provides information about the provisions. (Updated July 13, 2010)
As unemployment remains high and policymakers at all levels of government recognize the need for policies that encourage economic growth, it is important to examine how economic stimulus policies work and which levels of government have the strongest capacity to create jobs and stimulate the economy quickly.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
This Budget Brief examines potential strategies for implementing Chapter 70 reductions while protecting the ability of every school district to spend at no less than the foundation budget amount, properly adjusted for inflation.
National studies have consistently found that the overall level of business taxation is significantly lower in Massachusetts than in most states. One prominent study ranks Massachusetts 43rd for its overall business tax climate in Fiscal Year 2009.
Following two years in which the state budget was cut deeply and taxes were increased to address substantial budget deficits, the Governor’s FY 2011 budget recommends additional cuts, suggests modest revenue increases, and relies heavily on assistance from the federal government.