Category: Phineas Baxandall

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Wrong time for Massachusetts to introduce a charitable tax deduction?

A new tax subsidy initially approved two decades ago, the state charitable deduction, is set to automatically go into effect in January 2021, reducing revenue by $300 million annually. Are there ways to stem revenue loss and limit the subsidy to high incomes? Learn more about what the state charitable deduction could mean for the Commonwealth amid COVID-19.

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Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis: Filling Gaps in Federal Cash Support for Individuals and Families

Congress enacted billions of dollars in new direct cash assistance to individuals and families during the crisis, but there’s still work to be done to ensure people are not left behind. Learn what state-level solutions are available to fill the gaps.

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Amid plummeting state tax collections, the Commonwealth has options

It’s a sudden economic freefall like no other. By some estimates, Massachusetts will have 473,000 COVID-induced job layoffs and furloughs by summer. Most people with jobs won’t make or spend as much in the months ahead.

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Unemployment Insurance 101

What’s Unemployment Insurance? The Unemployment Insurance (UI) system is a state-federal partnership to provide cash assistance to people who may lose their job or can’t …

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MA Property Taxes: Who Pays? Recommendations for More Progressive Policies

Cities and towns rely on property taxes as their chief source of revenue to provide vital public services and infrastructure. Low- and moderate-income households tend to pay a larger portion of income in property taxes than those with high incomes, especially considering how some taxes get passed on from owners to renters. This paper examines why this is the case and what existing policies help make property taxes more progressive.Finally seven kids of state and local policy reforms are discussed that would redirect responsibility for property taxes towards those most able to pay.

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FY 2021 GOVERNOR’S BUDGET: Transportation – Governor proposes more funding, partly reversing past cuts

The Governor’s FY 2021 budget proposal is notable for acknowledging the need for more transportation investment to improve our current road and transit systems. This brief details how the proposal would partly reverse some earlier cuts to transportation programs that have likely held back performance.

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The Gas Tax: What it is and Who Pays

This two-page fact sheet explains the gas tax and why it tends to fall hardest on those with low and moderate incomes.

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FY 2021 BUDGET PREVIEW: Will the Transportation Budget Reflect New Realities? 6 Things to Look Out For

Will the Governor’s FY 2021 budget proposal indicate his commitment toward improving public transit, developing regional rail, reducing traffic congestion, and other priorities?

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FY 2021 BUDGET PREVIEW: Will the Governor reboot his dependent deduction proposal or take a more targeted approach?

Will the Governor again propose to double the state’s dependent deduction, which wasn’t adopted by the Legislature, or will state lawmakers provide more targeted tax support for working families with greater need?

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The Pros and Cons of Higher Gas Taxes, and How They Could be Offset for Lower-Income Families

As the Commonwealth seeks to improve our aging transportation system, policy makers have considered raising the gas tax. This paper assesses the gas tax along several well-established criteria for evaluating taxes: efficiency, fairness, and reliability. Based on these criteria, the gas tax receives mixed grades. Offsetting the tax with low-income tax credits could help.

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