Testimony for the House and Senate Ways and Means Committees, the Joint Committee on Revenue, and the Executive Office of Administration and Finance Economic Roundtable
We’re clearly in a budget crisis. Which is extremely troubling at this time, when we need real, comprehensive relief for families and individuals — so many of our neighbors, young and old, are struggling with accessing basic necessities and keeping healthy and well.
Our Commonwealth’s budget – how we raise revenue through taxes and fees, and how we spend that revenue – is the clearest picture of our shared values. Considering the revenue side picture is crucial, but the other side of the ledger is just, if not more important.
States rely on borrowing to manage their finances in good times and bad. Yet borrowing is not a substitute for raising the revenue needed for an economic recovery. Policymakers should look to raising progressive new revenues paired with limited borrowing to avoid cuts to critical public spending.
By returning the state corporate income tax to pre-2010 rates, the Commonwealth could raise $375 million to $500 million a year to help fund a racially equitable, economically just, and robust recovery.
ALL TAXES REPORTS
As a result of the pandemic, municipalities face increased spending needs and declining revenues. Many have the ability to raise property taxes, though others are constrained by Proposition 2 1/2. Moreover, property taxes tend to fall hardest on those with lower incomes. Without sufficient municipal aid, cities and towns may be forced to make public cuts which would slow the economic recovery.
As the Commonwealth’s early education and care sector reopens, many providers are at risk of closing permanently unless there is a significant new source of funding. Learn more about COVID-19’s impact on early education in our latest report, and what it will take to safely reopen.
Cutting budgets and failing to invest in communities hardest hit by the pandemic perpetuates the deep racial inequities built into the current system. Learn more about how the Commonwealth has solved the challenges of past economic recessions in our latest report.