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With Rainy Day Fund Filling Up Fast, It’s Time to Invest in Community Needs

The state’s rainy day fund is fast approaching its capped “allowable balance.” It could exceed the cap at the end of Fiscal Year 2024. With so many unmet needs for revenue throughout the Commonwealth, lawmakers should ensure the fund’s value remains below the cap.
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Memo to Governor Healey on Ways to Ensure Effective Implementation of the Fair Share Amendment

As Massachusetts voters have amended the state constitution to include a 4 percent surtax on taxable income over $1 million, MassBudget would like to offer policy suggestions to assist the Commonwealth in protecting this revenue and ensuring that it is directed to education and transportation, as specified in the amendment.
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Massachusetts Capital Budget 101

The capital budgeting process takes place largely out of the public eye but is responsible for building and maintaining critical state infrastructure. Learn more about it here.
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“Excess” as Mirage: How the 62F Tax Cap Distorts Our View of Massachusetts Tax Revenue

The 1986 tax cap law, also known as “62F,” artificially limits the amount of tax revenue available to address priorities like affordable, quality childcare, safer public transportation, and affordable housing. Moreover, there are flaws in the 62F law and its underlying formula. 62F tells a story about revenue in Massachusetts, but it is misleading.
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62F Credits Benefit the Rich

The “tax cap law,” or what is known as “62F,” sets an artificial limit on how much tax revenue Massachusetts can collect, regardless of the current needs of the Commonwealth. This law in effect transfers to higher income households tax revenue paid by lower income households and does nothing to improve racial or economic equity in our state.
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A Blast from the Past: Reagan-Era Tax Law Hits Hard

You are not alone if you had never heard of the Massachusetts “tax cap law,” or what is also known as “62F.” This Reagan-era law sets an artificial limit on how much tax revenue Massachusetts can collect, regardless of the current needs of the Commonwealth.
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A More Generous Compromise: The Legislature’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Proposal

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.
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Prospects for Investment, Stability, and Growth in Early Education in Massachusetts

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.
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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.
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When A Surplus Is Not Extra

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.
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Options for Targeted Tax Relief and a Warning About Estate Tax Changes

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 Tax Changes From: Marie-Frances Rivera, Phineas Baxandall, Nancy Wagman, Kurt Wise __________________________________________________________________ Chairman and Members of the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means, Tax collections have come in higher than estimated back when the FY 2022 budget was enacted. This is what people refer to as a tax “surplus.” This surplus, however ,does not mean that the state budget has already met the needs of the moment or that this is extra unneeded ...
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Ready for Resolution: The Fiscal Year 2023 Senate Budget

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.
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Moving the Recovery Story Forward: The Fiscal Year 2023 Senate Ways and Means Budget

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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We’re Not Out of the Woods Yet

“Yesterday, Senate President Karen Spilka rightfully noted the need to balance “targeted spending investments to a number of crucial areas, such as housing, childcare and higher education” while responding to our state’s current revenue collections. As our analysis shows from the final Fiscal Year 2023 House budget proposal, our Legislature made a great first step in committing our public dollars to closing some equity gaps. We hope the Senate Ways and Means Committee will build on this and make the bold investments needed to further equity in Massachusetts. “Proposed large tax breaks for the very wealthy would harm our long-term ...
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Important Steps Forward: The Fiscal Year 2023 House Budget

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.
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