Even in Massachusetts’ hot housing market with many homes selling for over $1 million, the vast majority of all home sales will not subject the home sellers to a proposed “millionaire’s tax.”
According to the most current federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data for Massachusetts (2021), average income for every occupation listed falls far below the $1 million threshold proposed in the Fair Share Amendment.
The Legislature’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget released earlier this week by the Conference Committee differs dramatically from both the House and Senate proposals in part because of its larger bottom line, which estimates tax collections of $39.58 billion, an increase of $2.66 billion or 7.2 percent.
As the challenges of the COVID pandemic continue to reverberate across the state, early education and care (EEC) providers persevere every day. Early care centers across the Commonwealth continue to deliver enriching support for young children while allowing parents to work and provide for their families. EEC has an essential role in keeping our state economy moving during these challenging times.
Massachusetts currently has the highest per capita income of any state, but the Commonwealth lags many states when it comes to using those resources to support funding for education, health, human services, transportation and the like. Massachusetts is even below the national average.
Current Estate Tax Proposals Would Give Largest Benefits to Wealthiest Estates; Alternative Method Would Fix This Problem
The tax on inherited estates is Massachusetts’ only tax that directly reduces wealth inequality. Although the pandemic has highlighted disparities between rich and poor families, the Governor and some in the Legislature have proposed changes to the estate tax that would largely benefit the state’s wealthiest households.
Sometimes a “surplus” is not really a surplus at all, and the term “tax surplus” can be particularly misleading. A tax surplus occurs when tax collections come in higher than the amount expected when the state created its budget at the beginning of the fiscal year. When that initial estimate turns out to be too low, there is a “surplus.” It does not mean that the state budget has already met the needs of the moment or that there is extra unneeded revenue.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center was asked to outline options for changes to the estate tax that would preserve revenue, maintain progressivity, and also cut taxes on or exempt estates with a taxable value up to around $1.2 million. Since households subject to the estate tax are among the state’s wealthiest taxpayers, any reductions to revenue from the estate tax represent a transfer of wealth from the Commonwealth to its wealthiest families. Even so, some options are better than others.
MassBudget’s brief to Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court asking to dismiss the ballot question exempting gig companies from providing employee benefits and protections. The brief outlined how excluding these workers from labor protections and failure to contribute to social insurance funds for them would hurt these workers and more broadly erode labor protections and employment-based social supports across the Commonwealth.
June 10, 2022 To: House and Senate Ways and Means Committee members and staff Re: Options for Targeted Tax Relief and a Warning About Estate …
After debate and quick consideration of more than 1,000 amendments, the Senate increased their Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget bottom line by more than $90 million. The budget debate has highlighted the power of this $50 billion bill to set the tone and the direction for the state in the year to come.
The Senate Committee on Ways and Means (SWM) released a budget proposal that illustrates again how a state budget can be a powerful tool for advancing equity and improving well-being – as long as policymakers don’t decide to give hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue each year to the wealthiest residents of the Commonwealth.
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The House Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget reflects many of the challenges the state faces moving out of the most acute phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, but has also taken a first step towards creating a budget that pushes the state towards equity in several important areas.
This one-page summary of a longer report outlines how Massachusetts has underinvested in its transportation infrastructure, and greater investment can improve the economy, equity, and the environment.
Earth Day is a Time to Consider Better Responses to High Gas Prices: Free Public Transit and Other Ideas
Higher gas prices are causing anxiety for many and are eating away at the meager incomes of low- and moderate-income families. Politicians are promoting a number of ideas to provide consumers with some relief. A very popular idea—a gas tax holiday—is a bad idea.
Compared to the Governor’s budget proposal earlier this year, the HWM budget is an example of what is possible when policymakers choose to focus on important investments in the state’s future rather than on tax cuts for the wealthy.
The fight for using ARPA dollars for housing is not over! Dollars from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund – the most flexible pot of COVID relief money provided by the U.S. government – are still available and provide an opportunity to fund housing initiatives that foster a more equitable recovery.