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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 to Adjust the Estate Tax While Retaining Revenue and Progressivity

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.

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ALL REPORTS

Relief Is on the Way: Part II—On and Off

A lot of money has already come to Massachusetts from federal COVID relief legislation, and more is on the way. Will policymakers decide to spend …

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Fim da Desvantagem Fiscal Contra o Trabalhador Imigrante

Os imigrantes de Massachusetts sofreram riscos desproporcionais trabalhando na linha de frente durante a pandemia. No entanto, milhares deles e suas famílias que trabalham e …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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