Massachusetts’ taxes are about average for the United States. Where then does the label ‘Taxachusetts’ come from? The answer has much more to do with history than reality.
Partnership in Peril: Federal Funding at Risk for State Programs Relied on by Massachusetts Residents
This paper examines the major federal funding sources that the state uses to provide access to affordable health care, help children thrive, assist low-income families, and care for veterans. In addition to describing the sources of federal funding, we examine the policy changes Congress is likely to consider that could threaten this funding and the services the funding supports. This fiscal year, one of every four dollars that supports the state’s budget comes from the federal government 2–close to $11 billion in federal funds.
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.
This preview examines both the challenges revenue gap facing the FY 2018 budget and two budget transparency reforms that could help avoid mid-year budget cuts and other unpleasant budget surprises in the future.
Massachusetts’ taxes rank in the middle of the pack, compared to other states. Where then does the label “Taxachusetts” come from? The answer has much more to do with history than reality.
Organized as a series of charts, this paper details major trends in enrollment and state support for our two-year community colleges, four-year state universities, and the UMass system. And it makes several comparisons to other states. Overall, we find that despite the growing importance of public higher education to the long-term health of our state, Massachusetts has cut support since Fiscal Year 2001, and tuition and fees have grown substantially as a result.
As educators prepare our young people with the skills to thrive in the years ahead, vocational education is a growing focus of education debates. Enrollment in career, vocational and technical education has grown. Demand for such programs is outpacing supply, especially in Gateway Cities which have some of the longest waiting lists to enter these programs. Studies of successful examples of vocational programs within traditional high schools, regional vocational schools, and in-district vocational schools show common elements necessary to success. The cost of addressing existing waitlists are estimated.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has recognized that recent improvements to school meals programs can unintentionally reduce funding for low-income school districts as the result of less accurate headcounts of low-income students. The Department has already made significant improvements to its data systems and is developing further recommendations at the direction of the Legislature. Based on MassBudget’s ongoing research on direct certification and its impact on Chapter 70 funding, MassBudget has developed six recommendations to improve the Commonwealth’s low-income student count.
The cost to the state from special business tax break spending has nearly tripled, even after adjusting for inflation, from $370 million in 1996 to over $1 billion anticipated in this fiscal year. Despite the findings of a 2012 report from a state special commission that called for limiting these breaks and studying their effectiveness, most state business tax breaks have not faced a thorough examination.