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Ending the Tax Penalty Against Working Immigrants

Immigrants in Massachusetts have shouldered an outsized risk as frontline workers during the pandemic. Yet thousands of them and their families who work and pay taxes are prevented from receiving important support through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) because they are ineligible for a Social Security Number. If the Commonwealth extended its EITC to people who pay taxes with an Income Tax Identification Number (ITIN), an estimated additional 13,200 households would apply for and benefit from the credit. For the Massachusetts state budget, the cost of extending the credit would be about $9.3 million. The law requires all wage ...
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结束针对工薪阶层新移民的税收处罚

在疫情期间,马萨诸塞州的新移民作为一线工人承担了巨大的风险。 然而,由于他们没有资格获得社会安全号码,数千名正在工作并纳税的人及其家庭因此而无法获得收入所得税抵免(EITC)的政府支持。 如果麻州政府将改税务优惠EITC扩展到允许使用所得税识别号(ITIN)纳税的人也可以申请,估计将有13200多户的家庭可以从中受益。 该举措对马萨诸塞州政府的预算,总计约为930万美元。
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Ending the Tax Penalty Against Working Immigrants: MA Should Follow Other States Extending EITC to Immigrant Tax Filers

Who are ITIN filers? Immigrants in Massachusetts have shouldered an outsized risk as frontline workers during the pandemic. Yet thousands of immigrants and their families who work and pay taxes are prevented from receiving important support through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) because they are ineligible for a Social Security Number. The law requires all wage earners to pay taxes, regardless of immigration status. The Internal Revenue Service provides immigrants who are ineligible for a Social Security Number with an Income Tax Identification Number (ITIN) so they can comply with tax laws.1 Immigrants paying taxes with an ITIN are ...
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Terminando con la penalidad contributiva para inmigrantes trabajadores

Los inmigrantes en Massachusetts han asumido un riesgo excesivo como trabajadores de primera línea durante la pandemia. Pero miles de ellos y sus familias, que trabajan y pagan contribuciones, no pueden recibir apoyo importante a través del Crédito por Ingreso del Trabajo (EITC, por sus siglas en inglés) porque no son elegibles para un número de Seguro Social. Si Massachusetts le extendiera su EITC a las personas que pagan contribuciones bajo un Número de Identificación de Contribuyente (ITIN, por sus siglas en inglés), un estimado de 13,200 hogares adicionales podrían solicitar y beneficiarse de este crédito. Para el presupuesto del ...
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MassBudget Statement on the Senate Ways and Means (SWM) Committee’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Budget Proposal

  “The FY 2022 Senate Committee proposal makes progress toward equity but does not seize the opportunity to make bold strides given our better-than-expected revenue collections and incoming federal funds. The proposal to make the state’s child and dependent tax deduction refundable is a major step in the right direction for tens of thousands of families. Our low-income parents and caretakers — some of whom cannot currently benefit from the current dependent deduction — could get some much-needed support. The Committee budget falls short in a few ways: This proposal for K-12 school funding, like the House, is about $90 ...
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House FY22 budget a boon for private investors, Hollywood producers

The Massachusetts House of Representatives’ Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget proposal offers and maintains regressive tax breaks that benefit private investors and Hollywood producers while holding off on many people-centered policy changes. Last week, House lawmakers made amendments to the House Ways and Means (HWM) budget proposal that did not meet the moment. Amendments are not only an opportunity for lawmakers to add funding for community projects, but also to make changes to the budget bill. Amendments that were offered to better support people struggling in the pandemic — like boosting rental voucher funding, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, ...
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Care for Our Commonwealth: The Cost of Universal, Affordable, High-Quality Early Care & Education Across Massachusetts

Early Care and Education is Critical for Families Across the Commonwealth, while adults work to provide for their families, they depend on reliable and nurturing learning environments for their children. For those parents with young children under 5, being able to work often depends on the early care and education (ECE) system and the thousands of ECE providers across our state. To meet their vital need for ECE services, many families today have to navigate an often unreliable, disconnected, and costly system of care. For high-level details on the ECE system in Massachusetts, see the box below and Appendix I.1 Despite ...
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HWM budget for FY22 does not reflect ongoing crisis

The House Ways and Means (HWM) budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY 2022) goes further than the Governor’s proposal in many ways — such as public school funding — but does not reflect the level of need communities are continuing to face because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state budget is a powerful tool to create equitable communities. After decades of underfunding, the state now has an opportunity to use billions of federal dollars to help pull us out of the pandemic and build towards a racially and economically just recovery. Below are two key takeaways from the HWM ...
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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 Massachusetts remains in the midst of a health and economic crisis that the House Ways and Means (HWM) budget proposal does not fully address. The HWM Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget lacks a vision for how the Commonwealth plans to make sustainable investments over time after billions in COVID-19 federal relief runs out. The pandemic and recession have laid bare the inequalities that exist in our state, and this budget is not doing nearly enough ...
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Relief Is on the Way: Part I—State and Local Funding from the American Rescue Plan

May 24th, 2021 Update: Since the initial publication of this brief, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has provided updated funding totals. The passage of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the availability of significant new federal revenue gives Massachusetts a once-in-a-generation opportunity. With thoughtful choices, these dollars can be the sturdy building blocks for an antiracist state budget committed to equity for every resident in every community in Massachusetts. Using this federal revenue as a foundation, Massachusetts policymakers can build supports so our communities emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and recession healthier, stronger, and thriving. The $1.9 trillion ARP ...
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Why licensing all drivers, regardless of immigration status, makes economic sense

If an age-eligible immigrant without status can pass a driving test, the state should issue them driver’s licenses so they can drive safely to work, school, doctor’s offices, and other places without fear. There are myriad health, safety, and social reasons to grant licenses to immigrants without status. One of these reasons is economic. Below are updated versions of our reports that estimate the economic and state fiscal impacts of such a policy. The latest data are primarily from 2018 and 2019. What’s new: If Massachusetts licenses all drivers, regardless of immigration status, an estimated 45,000 to 85,000 drivers would ...
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Bringing in the Relief: The Census Counts for Equity (updated)

As far as most of us are concerned, the 2020 Census has been over for months. There have been far more important concerns over this past year to occupy our thoughts: a devastating pandemic that has hit our communities of color particularly hard1; a recession2 and widespread unemployment upending the lives of hundres of thousand of households in the the Commonwealth;3 a reckoning on racial injustice;4 and the storming of our nation’s Capitol by a violent mob.5 Yet there is a connection between these events and the 2020 Census. Because the Census is ultimately about equity, power, and money. Five ...
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Where’s the Relief? The Distribution of Federal Funding in Massachusetts

As difficult as this past year has been, it would have been worse without the more than $70 billion in federal relief to Massachusetts so far from just the first five of the COVID-19 federal relief bills. About $39 billion in federal dollars goes directly to individuals and businesses, through stimulus checks and programs like the Paycheck Protection Program. About $3 billion goes to regional transportation authorities and Head Start providers. And about $29 billion is expected for programs operated through the state’s executive agencies. But how does this money get distributed? Since March 2020, Congress has passed six major ...
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Does it Make Sense to Collect Bus Fares?

Eliminating fares on Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Regional Transit Authority (RTA) buses makes sense for practical economic reasons as well as for equity and environmental sustainability. The resources spent collecting bus fares don’t serve any transportation function. Selling bus passes and tickets, verifying and collecting them, and enforcing fare payments do not help transport bus riders more quickly or safely to their destinations. On the contrary, bus fares discourage people from using the bus, and fare collection slows down travel while making it more stressful and inconvenient. Everything related to fares diverts resources that could otherwise provide more ...
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Free Buses Advance Equity

Transit fares deepen existing income inequalities and racial disparities. Transit riders tend to have lower-than average incomes, especially bus riders. Black and Latinx residents are also more likely to be transit riders than white residents, again especially on buses. Enforcement of fare policies, such as through arrests and citations, also tends to impact people of color disproportionately. Transit fares are regressive, meaning that they claim a larger share of income from people with low- and middle-incomes than from higher-income people. While several other kinds of taxes and public fees fall disproportionately on lower-income households in Massachusetts, perhaps none falls more ...
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