We have important work to do:
Our state and local tax system remains “upside-down”.
The highest-income households in Massachusetts, those in the top 1 percent, pay a smaller percent of their income in state and local taxes than all other income groups.
Early education and care are critical, but unaffordable for too many.
Massachusetts ranked last among the 50 states in the affordability of infant care, with costs reaching nearly $21,000 per year. At this price, infant care consumes over 80% of a minimum wage salary.
Student debt is crushing our younger generation.
Decades of state disinvestment in public higher education has shifted the cost burden to students and families, especially harming low-income and students of color.
Massachusetts is in a housing crisis.
Someone earning a minimum wage must work 105 hours per week to afford a 2-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent. And, because of the legacy of historically racist housing policies, Black and Latinx families are even less likely to have access to affordable, stable housing.
What does equity look like?
Opportunities of the Moment
The March 2021 passage of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the availability of significant new federal revenue gives Massachusetts a once-in-a-generation opportunity. With thoughtful choices, these dollars can be the building blocks for an antiracist state budget. Using this federal revenue as a foundation, Massachusetts can build supports so our communities emerge from the pandemic and recession healthier, stronger and thriving. The $1.9 trillion ARP package will bring as much as $8.67 billion to Massachusetts state and local governments.
The federal funds flowing into our state are an important down payment for undoing the generational wrongs and deep racial and economic inequities that the pandemic compounded. Yet, to build a sustainable, antiracist budget Massachusetts policymakers need to identify progressive state revenue that is both equitably collected and sustains vital investments. The 2022 Midterm Elections are one opportunity for us to build towards our recovery.
The 2022 Midterm Elections
The Fair Share Amendment - a proposal to create an additional tax of 4% on the portion of a person’s annual income above $1 million – will be on the ballot in November 2022 and offers us the chance to ensure tax justice for millions of Massachusetts residents. This historic opportunity to move toward economic and racial justice is in the hands of voters across the Bay State.