Recently, multiple news articles, op-eds, and think tank reports have asserted that Massachusetts is suffering an exodus of households, particularly high-income households, fleeing to states with lower taxes. These claims about income migration are both overblown and based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the available data.
Fiscal Year 2024, which starts in July 2023, is the first state budget to include Fair Share dollars, and the Governor’s, House, and Senate budget proposals differ in how they would spend Fair Share funds. How do their priorities compare?
If lawmakers cut the Massachusetts estate tax, it is a small number of high-income, white households that will receive the overwhelming share of the benefits. These cuts would worsen the problem of wealth inequality and undermine our ability to address the problem.
Current estate tax proposals would lead to a loss of state revenue and reduce the Commonwealth’s ability to make crucial investments, while having regressive impacts on racial and economic equity. The state should seek alternatives.
What’s Race Got to Do With It? Some Tax Proposals Would Widen Racial Inequality, Others Would Advance Equity
Some of the tax cuts proposed by the Massachusetts House in 2023 would widen economic and racial disparities by disproportionately benefiting wealthier, generally whiter households. Other proposed tax changes would advance equity and would disproportionately benefit households of color.
Massachusetts lawmakers have proposed tax policy changes in 2022 and 2023 that would reduce public revenue by large amounts—providing the most benefits to the most affluent households. This table compares the major, permanent tax cut packages proposed since last year.
The newly passed surtax on annual incomes over $1 million brings a new opportunity for high-income residents to exploit a tax loophole. Policies in other states show how easily Massachusetts can fix this problem.
Meaningful credits for working families mixed with benefits solely for the wealthy – MassBudget reacts to House of Representatives’ recently released tax proposal.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data show that Massachusetts has low rates of out-migration among high-income households compared to other states. As a consequence, delivering large tax cuts to these few households to stem a non-existent exodus is misguided.