Read our latest work shaping the debate on what our communities can look like when we make progressive investments.


HWM FY 2022 Budget Proposal Lacks Bold Investments to Build Racial and Economic Equity in the Commonwealth

Statement by Marie-Frances Rivera, President of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget), on the House Ways and Means Committee’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Proposal …

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Job Announcement: Director of Development

We are seeking a dynamic and highly organized Director of Development who is aligned with MassBudget’s mission of advancing equitable policy solutions that create an …

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Choosing Equity: How the Commonwealth can Make Public Higher Education Affordable

For Immediate Release Contact: Reginauld Williams, Communications Director 617-426-1228, x 102, BOSTON – March 24 – As the legislative debate heats up around affordable …

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Income, capital gains tax dropping to 5 percent in 2020

Not everyone is celebrating. “The income tax is one of the few revenue sources that asks high-income people to pay in-line with their larger bank rolls,” said Phineas Baxandall, senior analyst at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “Repeated cuts to the income tax rate are a big reason that Massachusetts’ tax system is upside-down. Those with higher incomes end up paying a smaller share of their income, on average, than moderate- and low-income taxpayers pay.”

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Study Of 150 City Budgets Finds Boston Better Off Than Most

“Property taxes are stable so long as property values are stable,” Baxandall, from the Mass. Budget and Policy Center, said. And while a 4% decline in revenue might be a lot less than the hit other cities are expected to take, “the money has to come from somewhere,” he said.

“If we have to furlough teachers, first responders, cancel repair budgets, that’s money which would be circulating in the community,” Baxandall said. “It’s going to be painful.”

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Raise taxes for a fair recovery

Commonwealth Magazine, August 14, 2020

Now is the time to take the reins to determine our own destiny. All of us can call on the federal government to provide our people and state governments with financial supports, just as it did in the Great Recession. The Legislature has options: it can use our state’s multi-billion-dollar Rainy-Day Fund, take advantage of borrowing, or raise taxes by asking those who have benefited most from our economy to pay their fair share. By raising taxes on unearned income like dividends and capital gains, for instance, Massachusetts can ensure a fair and equitable recovery for black, brown, and other communities who have historically been left on the margins. We all should have the resources we need to participate in our recovery — that is equity.

Government budgets are a statement of our collective priorities. Reducing inequality should be part of the economic calculus of how states and localities balance their budgets. This pandemic has shown how little cushion many of our communities of color and low-income people have to weather the economic slowdown. Without adequate revenue from the federal government and our wealthy neighbors and corporations, we can’t make the investments we need for a strong and equitable recovery.

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President Trump Takes Executive Action On Coronavirus Relief, Bypassing Congress

Bypassing Congress on Saturday, President Trump issued a set of executive orders and memoranda to deliver emergency pandemic aid. The actions are ambiguous and raise a lot of questions. We break down what they mean for Massachusetts with Marie-Frances Rivera, President at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

We also hear from Michael Capuano, former Massachusetts Congressman and now the public affairs director for Foley and Lardner, and from WBUR legal analyst Nancy Gertner. She’s a retired federal judge and a senior lecturer at Harvard Law School.

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Short-term budgets keep state afloat

“Baker and legislative leaders have agreed to maintain level spending for local aid and Chapter 70 funding this fiscal year, but that doesn’t protect against cuts to other agencies and programs.

‘If there are cuts to public programs it would be the worst thing for deepening our recession, because this is money that wouldn’t be spent in state,” said Phineas Baxandall, a senior policy analyst with the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “We need commitments to protect those programs.'”

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State school aid level-funded

Commonwealth Magazine, July 30, 2020

But Colin Jones, senior budget analyst for the liberal-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said it is a “complex” question to figure out how much money schools need compared to how much they will get from state and federal funding.

“What we were going to do was $300 million to do inflation and (Student Opportunity Act), and we didn’t have COVID costs to worry about,” Jones said.

Now, schools have added expenses for masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning equipment, to retrofit spaces and improve ventilation. They must figure out how to incorporate remote and in-person learning and how to run less crowded buses.

“What would it take to make Lynn, Chelsea, Holyoke and Boston’s facilities, rooms and buses ready for that?” Jones asked. “That number conceptually we don’t know, but it’s much more probably than what we’re getting and what’s available now.”

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Immigrant driver’s license bill stalls in House

WHDH, July 28, 2020

Close to 200,000 undocumented immigrants live in Massachusetts, of which 41,000 to 78,000 would qualify and likely apply for licenses within three years of the bill’s implementation, according to an analysis from the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

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Malden resident Nichole Mossalam challenges in 35th Middlesex District race

Wicked Local Medford, July 27, 2020

Mossalam points to research by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center which found that cuts to the personal income tax since the late 1990s cost the state $4 billion annually.

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Trump seeks to squeeze immigrants out of apportionment

The Salem News, July 22, 2020

There are approximately 185,000 undocumented immigrants in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center estimated last year.

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Trump targets those in US illegally from reapportionment

Worcester Telegram, July 21, 2020

Approximately 185,000 undocumented immigrants are in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center estimated last year.

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’Everyone deserves to be counted’: Massachusetts advocates push back against president’s memo excluding undocumented immigrants from census count

MassLive, July 21, 2020

It’s unclear exactly how many immigrants without legal status live in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center estimated last year that 185,000 undocumented immigrants call the Bay State home.

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Massachusetts immigration bill’s biggest hurdle may be timing as it advances at end of legislative session, lawmakers say

MassLive, July 20, 2020

Massachusetts is home to an estimated 185,000 undocumented immigrants, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a liberal think tank. More than one-third have lived in the U.S. for five years or more.

The number of immigrants without legal status could be higher, but an exact count does not exist.

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Immigrant rights groups push for driver’s license amendment to Massachusetts Senate police reform bill

MassLive, July 18, 2020

It is unclear how many immigrants without legal status live in Massachusetts, nor is it known how many of them are of legal driving age. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center estimates 185,000 undocumented immigrants would benefit if the bill became law.

Such a law would also benefit immigrants with temporary permission to live in the U.S., such as those with Temporary Protected Status. TPS offers some foreign-born residents work permits for two years due to natural disasters, civil strife or other crises in their home countries.

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Groups seek to add immigrant driver’s license authorization to police bill

Commonwealth Magazine, July 17, 2020

Estimates from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center put the number of undocumented immigrants that reside in Massachusetts at 185,000, though the number could be far higher. Advocates say that 41,000 to 78,000 drivers could obtain licenses within the first three years of a change in state law to permit that. About 16,000 undocumented immigrants are estimated to be currently driving without licenses, including to health care and grocery store jobs deemed essential during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Guest columnist Jeremy Gantz: The end of child care as we know it

Daily Hampshire Gazette, July 17, 2020

Exactly how many preschools and child care facilities will close absent adequate federal support is hard to say exactly. But the best estimates to understand what’s at risk are very depressing. In late April, a Center for American Progress analysis found that about half of all child care slots in the country — 4.5 million — could disappear after being closed for more than two weeks without government aid. In late June, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center estimated that $690 million in aid is needed just to help early education centers in the state successfully reopen over the next five months.

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