Category: Nancy Wagman

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When A Surplus Is Not Extra

Sometimes a “surplus” is not really a surplus at all, and the term “tax surplus” can be particularly misleading. A tax surplus occurs when tax collections come in higher than the amount expected when the state created its budget at the beginning of the fiscal year. When that initial estimate turns out to be too low, there is a “surplus.” It does not mean that the state budget has already met the needs of the moment or that there is extra unneeded revenue.

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Options to Adjust the Estate Tax While Retaining Revenue and Progressivity

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center was asked to outline options for changes to the estate tax that would preserve revenue, maintain progressivity, and also cut taxes on or exempt estates with a taxable value up to around $1.2 million. Since households subject to the estate tax are among the state’s wealthiest taxpayers, any reductions to revenue from the estate tax represent a transfer of wealth from the Commonwealth to its wealthiest families. Even so, some options are better than others.

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Health Care in the ARPA Bill: Selected Highlights from Chapter 102 of the Acts of 2021

This report, done in partnership with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, summarizes key health care funding allocations in this state legislation, which …

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Massachusetts Cash Assistance – A MassBudget Data Droplet

The cash assistance program was created to be a reliable back-up for the lowest-income families; today the program reaches only a small share of families …

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At a Crossroads Created by COVID: Executive Summary

At a Crossroads Created by COVID: Families Moving Along the Road to Opportunity in Massachusetts Executive Summary Read the full report here. PART 1: THE …

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At a Crossroads Created by COVID: Families Moving Along the Road to Opportunity in Massachusetts

We may have promised the children of Massachusetts that they can arrive at a bright tomorrow full of opportunity, but we have allowed many obstacles to get in the way of that promise for too many of our children. On top of that, these past two years have created new obstacles, and have also put Massachusetts at an important crossroads. The twin health and economic emergencies of the pandemic and subsequent downturn have made long-standing racial and economic inequities worse.

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State Budget 101

What is the state budget? The state budget is single largest piece of legislation passed each year. It affects every person in the Commonwealth. It …

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“The ARPA Bill”: Highlights from Chapter 102 of the Acts of 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has created both a health and economic emergencies in Massachusetts. To help address these crises, the bill just signed by the Governor—referred …

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What is the Actual State Cost of MassHealth in State Fiscal Year 2022?

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Towards the Other Side: Past the Pandemic and Beyond to an Equitable Recovery

Massachusetts children and families are beginning to look forward to the other side of the health and economic crises of 2020. But moving beyond the …

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