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The Pandemic Persists: Pain Points for the Children of Massachusetts

Policymakers have the responsibility and an opportunity to make smart and fair policy choices that will support children and families. This is particularly true now …

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Unemployment Insurance Saved the Massachusetts Economy. How Can We Ensure It Will Be Strong for the Future?

More than any other economic program, Unemployment Insurance (UI) has helped the Massachusetts economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. UI enabled many families to remain safe …

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Raising Rates on Unearned Income: An Equitable Way to Avoid Cuts and Support a Robust and Just Recovery

For each one percentage point increase in the state tax rates applied to unearned income, the Commonwealth could raise roughly $465 million a year to …

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Massachusetts Poverty Rate Flat, Median Income Growth Slowed in 2017

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released new data from its American Community Survey (ACS), allowing us to see how Massachusetts residents fared economically last year. Although the state has made significant gains in poverty reduction and income growth in recent years, especially since the recession, year-over-year progress began to slow in 2017. Compared to 2016, the poverty rate was essentially flat, and median household income grew at a much slower pace.

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Losing Momentum: March towards health insurance for all Massachusetts residents stalls

Having health insurance helps people afford necessary medical care, which helps them live healthier lives. Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in making sure all its residents have health insurance, but progress has stalled.
Further, some communities of color continue to encounter obstacles to getting health insurance and still see higher levels of uninsurance compared with the state overall.

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Analyzing the State Budget for FY 2019

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Why the Count Counts: Major Sources of Federal Funding for Massachusetts Affected by Census Counts

The decennial Census counts for much more than a tally of every resident of the country. The Census is the country's snapshot: it creates our most accurate picture of everyone who lives here and where they live.

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Caring for Kids: Majority of Massachusetts Children Have Benefitted from MassHealth Programs

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A Credit to Health: The Health Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit

The opportunity to live a healthy life begins long before a person shows up at the doctor's office or hospital; health begins where people live, learn, work, and play. There is growing recognition that greater attention to the social determinants of health—things like having stable housing, safe, walkable neighborhoods with accessible transportation, grocery stores with affordable, nutritious options, schools that are equipped to provide high-quality education, and incomes that enable families to make ends meet —is critical to making meaningful improvements to health. This paper briefly examines the health impact of one program that provides economic support for low-income working families: the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

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What Has Happened in Other States with High Tax Rates on Million-Dollar Incomes?

Massachusetts can have an economy that generates broad prosperity and home-grown millionaires with world-class education and infrastructure. Several other states have top income-tax rates as high, or substantially higher, than what is proposed in Massachusetts. Those states do not have fewer millionaires, and have not seen less growth in their share of millionaires over time.

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What Does the Federal Tax Law Mean for Massachusetts and How Might the Commonwealth Respond?

The new federal tax law reduces federal revenues by approximately $1.5 trillion largely by cutting taxes for corporations, people receiving inheritance from very large estates, and high-income owners of pass-through entities such as partnerships. The law provides reduced tax rates and relatively smaller tax reductions to most wage and salary earners while disproportionately benefiting those with high incomes. This paper examines the distribution of tax cuts, the impact of how they may be paid for, how the law interacts with Massachusetts policies, and what the Commonwealth could do to take its own direction different from the federal government.

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Sweeter than SALT: Highest-Income Households Get Federal Tax Cuts More Than Twice SALT Losses

The federal government has enacted very large tax cuts targeted mostly at higher-income taxpayers. The resulting loss of an almost $1.5 trillion in federal revenue is likely to lead to cuts in federal support for programs that are important to people in Massachusetts and to the state budget. Amid these deep tax cuts, a new federal limit on the deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT) has received a lot of attention. Households that itemize deductions and pay over $10,000 in combined state and local taxes will no longer be able to deduct more than this amount when calculating their taxable income for federal taxes.

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How Slow Sales Tax Growth Causes Funding Problems for the MBTA

Almost 20 years ago, a penny of the sales tax was dedicated to the MBTA to be a steadily growing source of revenue for the transit system. But despite some help from the Legislature, the sales tax transfer has grown slower than the economy, creating a persistent gap between the projected funds and actual sales tax transfers. Sales taxes have underperformed for the MBTA as a result of a shift to services, some transactions moving online, and exclusion of fast-growing meals tax revenues from the MBTA. An appendix explains the formula for determining the MBTA sales tax transfer and how other sales taxes are allocated.

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What Does Massachusetts Transportation Funding Support and What Are the Revenue Sources

Where do the resources come from to operate Massachusetts’ transportation system, and where is the money spent? A detailed chart shows state revenues and spending for transportation operations and debt service in Fiscal Year 2015. The width of each arrows represents the amount of dollars that flow from one source or activity to another.

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Cutting Class: Underfunding the Foundation Budget’s Core Education Program

Do Massachusetts’s schools have enough money to provide their students with a quality education? That’s the question that motivated Cutting Class. And what we found is that in many areas the answer seems to be no. Schools across the state are hiring fewer teachers, providing less professional development, and spending less on materials & technology than the state funding formula considers adequate.

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Demystifying the Chapter 70 Formula: How the Massachusetts Education Funding System Works

This Facts At A Glance explains the basic structure of the state’s Chapter 70 formula for distributing education aid to local school districts.

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