The opportunity to live a healthy life begins long before a person shows up at the doctor’s office or hospital; health begins where people live, learn, work, and play. There is growing recognition that greater attention to the social determinants of health – things like having stable housing, safe, walkable neighborhoods with accessible transportation, grocery stores with affordable, nutritious options, schools that are equipped to provide high-quality education, and incomes that enable families to make ends meet – is critical to making meaningful improvements to health. This paper briefly examines the health impact of one program that provides economic support for low-income working families: the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Massachusetts can have an economy that generates broad prosperity and home-grown millionaires with world-class education and infrastructure. Several other states have top income-tax rates as high, or substantially higher, than what is proposed in Massachusetts. Those states do not have fewer millionaires, and have not seen less growth in their share of millionaires over time.
The new federal tax law reduces federal revenues by approximately $1.5 trillion largely by cutting taxes for corporations, people receiving inheritance from very large estates, and high-income owners of pass-through entities such as partnerships. The law provides reduced tax rates and relatively smaller tax reductions to most wage and salary earners while disproportionately benefiting those with high incomes. This paper examines the distribution of tax cuts, the impact of how they may be paid for, how the law interacts with Massachusetts policies, and what the Commonwealth could do to take its own direction different from the federal government.
The federal government has enacted very large tax cuts targeted mostly at higher-income taxpayers. The resulting loss of an almost $1.5 trillion in federal revenue is likely to lead to cuts in federal support for programs that are important to people in Massachusetts and to the state budget. Amid these deep tax cuts, a new federal limit on the deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT) has received a lot of attention. Households that itemize deductions and pay over $10,000 in combined state and local taxes will no longer be able to deduct more than this amount when calculating their taxable income for federal taxes.
Almost 20 years ago, a penny of the sales tax was dedicated to the MBTA to be a steadily growing source of revenue for the transit system. But despite some help from the Legislature, the sales tax transfer has grown slower than the economy, creating a persistent gap between the projected funds and actual sales tax transfers. Sales taxes have underperformed for the MBTA as a result of a shift to services, some transactions moving online, and exclusion of fast-growing meals tax revenues from the MBTA. An appendix explains the formula for determining the MBTA sales tax transfer and how other sales taxes are allocated.
This fact sheets examines where Massachusetts ranks compared to other states in terms of the level of state and local taxation in 2015, the most recent year for which data is currently available.
Massachusetts’ taxes are about average for the United States. Where then does the label ‘Taxachusetts’ come from? The answer has much more to do with history than reality.
Recent state and federal tax reform debates have highlighted the taxation of S-corporations (S-corps). Like other “pass-through” entities, S-corps are not required to pay the corporate income tax, and instead their owners pay personal income taxes on the profits of the corporation after costs have been deducted. In Massachusetts, some owners of pass-through entities like S-corps have voiced concerns about the fact that a proposed additional four percentage point tax on incomes over one million dollars a year would include very high-income owners of pass-through businesses. The fact sheet reviews how these entities are taxed in Massachusetts and other states with higher rates for very high income earners. Based on national data, over 98 percent of owners of S-corps and other pass through entities would not be affected by this reform.
This fact sheet examines the extent to which the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and transit agencies across the state rely on federal sources of revenue for their operations and capital investment. It describes the federal grants that are most vulnerable to near-term budget cuts and how larger sums of federal transportation funding could face cuts after 2020.
Where do the resources come from to operate Massachusetts’ transportation system, and where is the money spent? A detailed chart shows state revenues and spending for transportation operations and debt service in Fiscal Year 2015. The width of each arrows represents the amount of dollars that flow from one source or activity to another.