Taxes are the main way communities pay for the things we do together. Taxes pay for essential programs and infrastructure we take for granted, like fire protection, public education, and health inspectors; roads, bridges, and public transit; and the support for people facing hard times. Examining how much people at different income levels pay in taxes is important when considering the fairness of tax policy.
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.
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.
This policy brief examines the evidence on the likely migration effects of raising income taxes on households with taxable annual income above $1 million and the impacts on net state revenue.
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.
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.
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.
The Governor’s budget proposal will reportedly include the expansion of a corporate tax break called Single Sales Factor apportionment. This factsheet describes how this tax break works, the evidence on whether it is effective, and its cost.
Effective economic policies can create a more highly productive state economy and make it possible to improve economic opportunity and security for working families. This paper examines the economic research on the relationship between effective investments in education and transportation and improved economic productivity. The paper also examines the economic effects of tax reforms that can fund those investments.
This factsheet explains the history of the “Taxachusetts” label and describes how it is at odds with the reality of the level of taxation in Massachusetts today.