Category: Phineas Baxandall

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Four Reasons We Need Strong Estate Taxes

Explainer via Napkin Finance With Legislators debating potential changes to taxes on large estates, it’s important to remember why we have taxes on the transfer of …

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Current Estate Tax Proposals Would Give Largest Benefits to Wealthiest Estates; Alternative Method Would Fix This Problem

The tax on inherited estates is Massachusetts’ only tax that directly reduces wealth inequality. Although the pandemic has highlighted disparities between rich and poor families, the Governor and some in the Legislature have proposed changes to the estate tax that would largely benefit the state’s wealthiest households.

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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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Investing in Transportation Can Help Massachusetts

This one-page summary of a longer report outlines how Massachusetts has underinvested in its transportation infrastructure, and greater investment can improve the economy, equity, and the environment.

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Earth Day is a Time to Consider Better Responses to High Gas Prices: Free Public Transit and Other Ideas

Higher gas prices are causing anxiety for many and are eating away at the meager incomes of low- and moderate-income families. Politicians are promoting a number of ideas to provide consumers with some relief. A very popular idea—a gas tax holiday—is a bad idea.

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The Three E’s: Greater Transportation Funding Can Improve the Economy, Equity, and Environment

New sustaining revenue is needed for Massachusetts’ transportation systems, and no source of new funding is better scaled to meet the size of underinvestment than the Fair Share Amendment.

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Testimony to end tax subsidies for purchasing private jets and other aircraft

To the Joint Committee on Revenue December 14, 2021 RE: Testimony in support of An Act Relevant to the Repeal of the Sales Tax Exemption …

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Testimony to expand the Earned Income Tax Credits for low-income households

To the Joint Committee on Revenue December 13, 2021 RE: Testimony in support of An Act to increase family stabilization through the earned income tax …

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New Federal Spending Makes It Crucial to Add State Funds for Education and Transportation

The federal and state governments act as partners to ensure high-quality education and transportation. In response to the COVID pandemic, the federal government has made …

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