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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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Ready for Resolution: The Fiscal Year 2023 Senate Budget

After debate and quick consideration of more than 1,000 amendments, the Senate increased their Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget bottom line by more than $90 million. The budget debate has highlighted the power of this $50 billion bill to set the tone and the direction for the state in the year to come.

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Moving the Recovery Story Forward: The Fiscal Year 2023 Senate Ways and Means Budget

The Senate Committee on Ways and Means (SWM) released a budget proposal that illustrates again how a state budget can be a powerful tool for advancing equity and improving well-being – as long as policymakers don’t decide to give hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue each year to the wealthiest residents of the Commonwealth.

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Important Steps Forward: The Fiscal Year 2023 House Budget

The House Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget reflects many of the challenges the state faces moving out of the most acute phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, but has also taken a first step towards creating a budget that pushes the state towards equity in several important areas.

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Earth Day is a Time to Consider Better Responses to High Gas Prices: Free Public Transit and Other Ideas

Higher gas prices are causing anxiety for many and are eating away at the meager incomes of low- and moderate-income families. Politicians are promoting a number of ideas to provide consumers with some relief. A very popular idea—a gas tax holiday—is a bad idea.

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Following a Separate Path: House Ways and Means FY2023 Budget Proposal

Compared to the Governor’s budget proposal earlier this year, the HWM budget is an example of what is possible when policymakers choose to focus on important investments in the state’s future rather than on tax cuts for the wealthy.

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Housing Funding: ARPA in Massachusetts

The fight for using ARPA dollars for housing is not over! Dollars from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund – the most flexible pot of COVID relief money provided by the U.S. government – are still available and provide an opportunity to fund housing initiatives that foster a more equitable recovery.

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“Millionaire Tax” Would Make Massachusetts Tax System Fairer

Currently, the Massachusetts tax system is upside down: the highest income households pay a significantly smaller share of their income toward state and local taxes than the rest of us do. A “millionaire tax” would help turn our tax system right-side up.

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A Millionaire Tax is Necessary to Advance Critical Education Investments in Massachusetts

Federal pandemic relief has helped avert education cuts and added significant funds to expand services during the pandemic. But it is insufficient and too short-term to meet the Commonwealth’s existing promises to improve education, much less to make bold new investments.

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The Three E’s: Greater Transportation Funding Can Improve the Economy, Equity, and Environment

New sustaining revenue is needed for Massachusetts’ transportation systems, and no source of new funding is better scaled to meet the size of underinvestment than the Fair Share Amendment.

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