Kids Count Data Center
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.
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.
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.
ALL BUDGET RESOURCES REPORTS
How to collect enough revenue to pay for the things we accomplish together as a Commonwealth and how to collect that revenue fairly are questions that every community and every state need to examine. This paper describes 14 ways the Commonwealth could generate substantial new revenue in a manner that makes our tax system more progressive and would not require changing the state constitution.
The House and Senate Budgets reflect similar values: expanding access to education, helping working families to make ends meet (with an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit), and helping families to find housing. Both budgets are also constrained by limited revenue and are not able to make progress in a number of important areas including making higher education more affordable and significantly improving our transportation systems. The list below highlights several of the substantial differences between the House and Senate budgets, and the rest of this Monitor provides more detail on differences that the Legislature’s budget Conference Committee will have to reconcile.
The Governor’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget proposal level funds much of state government, includes some targeted initiatives – including an expanded earned income tax credit (EITC) and new services for people struggling with and recovering from mental illness – and proposes small reductions in funding, after accounting for inflation, for higher education and other areas.
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget year could be the most eventful in decades, with major changes in federal policy looming and ballot questions that could reshape state tax policy likely to appear on the November ballot. This year’s budget will be written in a climate of uncertainty, and against a backdrop of ongoing fiscal challenges.