Category: Phineas Baxandall

All Posts

Does it Make Sense to Collect Bus Fares?

Eliminating fares on Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Regional Transit Authority (RTA) buses makes sense for practical economic reasons as well as for equity …

Read More →

Free Buses Advance Equity

Transit fares deepen existing income inequalities and racial disparities. Transit riders tend to have lower-than average incomes, especially bus riders. Black and Latinx residents are …

Read More →

The Dollars & Sense of Free Buses

There are many reasons to eliminate transit fares, especially on buses. In addition to advancing equity and reducing climate change emissions, fare-free service is more …

Read More →

Freeing the Climate: Environmental Benefits of Eliminating Transit Fares

In addition to being more efficient and equitable, eliminating bus fares would benefit the climate. The transportation sector is the biggest and fastest-growing source of …

Read More →

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 …

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

Unemployment Assistance in a Time of COVID-19

The Commonwealth has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences by implementing several bold new federal unemployment policies that are also supported with federal funds. These have provided crucial protection to many workers and the economy, though undocumented workers have been excluded. Since late April, the greatest volume of unemployment claims have been for a new program for workers traditionally ineligible for unemployment insurance. Without new federal legislation, this program will expire at the end of the year. The federally-funded $600 enhancement to weekly benefits will expire at the end of July. The loss of these benefits would hurt many workers and slow the state’s economic recovery.

Read More →

Testimony Supporting Act to Provide Equal Stimulus Checks to Immigrant Taxpayers

Testimony supporting legislation for state stimulus checks for taxpayers excluded from federal benefits because they pay taxes with an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) instead of a social security number.

Read More →

The Anti-Stimulus: Budget Cuts are Worse for the Economy than Tax Increases During Recessions

Anyone concerned about Massachusetts’ economic recovery should be worried about state and municipal budget cuts. This is not the time for austerity. Avoiding budget cuts through targeted tax increases is the best way to build a strong recovery in Massachusetts. Learn more in the latest on our Blogs & Briefs publication.

Read More →
Scroll to Top

Get news from Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center in your inbox.