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.
A well-funded public higher education system has the power to open up countless opportunities for low-income students and families of all races and backgrounds. For …
As Massachusetts considers several proposals to make college tuition-and-fee-free or debt-free, this paper looks at how different design elements of such a guarantee could affect access and affordability for students from less wealthy families, students of color, and immigrant students in Massachusetts.
Even considering how higher-income households have more money to give away, the tax benefits of charitable tax deductions are heavily skewed toward the top.
The Governor’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget proposal provides modest increases in funding for public education, human services, and several other important investments. This new funding does not, in many cases, reverse deep cuts imposed across the state budget after the tax cuts of the late 1990s and early 2000s — despite a decade of expansion in the economy. Lost revenue from tax cuts has limited the Commonwealth’s ability to adequately fund education, infrastructure, and other building blocks of healthy communities and a strong economy.
Anyone who has set foot in a public school, driven on a road, or gone to a public park has been touched by the state budget. What we fund in our state budget reflects what we deem important.
None of these essential services would be possible without the revenue to pay for it. Further, it is important to consider whether the state is raising revenue fairly.
As the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget debates kick off this week, here are five questions to consider.
How to collect enough revenue to pay for the things we accomplish together as a Commonwealth and how to collect that revenue fairly are questions that every community and every state need to examine. This paper describes 14 ways the Commonwealth could generate substantial new revenue in a manner that makes our tax system more progressive and would not require changing the state constitution.
A Chilly Reception: Proposed Immigration Rule Creates Chilling Effect for New Immigrants and Current Citizens
The Trump Administration announced on October 10 a proposal that would fundamentally change our country’s approach to immigration. This proposal would change what is known as the “public charge” immigration rule, which could make it very difficult for many immigrants to receive the Green Cards or visas that allow them to enter or stay in this country legally.
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.
The U.S. Census Bureau recently released new data from its American Community Survey (ACS), allowing us to see how Massachusetts residents fared economically last year. Although the state has made significant gains in poverty reduction and income growth in recent years, especially since the recession, year-over-year progress began to slow in 2017. Compared to 2016, the poverty rate was essentially flat, and median household income grew at a much slower pace.
Having health insurance helps people afford necessary medical care, which helps them live healthier lives. Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in making sure all its residents have health insurance, but progress has stalled.
Further, some communities of color continue to encounter obstacles to getting health insurance and still see higher levels of uninsurance compared with the state overall.