Publications

  • February 12 2018

    If the surtax passes, Massachusetts would have one of the highest tax rates in the nation on income over $1 million. And that may understate the upcoming shockwave to high-earners. Since SALT deductions are now capped at $10,000, the effective state income tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million would soar to 9 percent from 3 percent – a remarkable 300 percent escalation. Given the state’s persistent out-migration issues absent a massive tax hike, the state is rapidly entering uncharted territory with no ability to mitigate the damage for years.

  • January 24 2018

    Governor Baker has proposed a $45.9 billion budget for fiscal year (FY) 2019. This bulletin provides an overview of notable spending, revenue and policy proposals included in the document.

  • January 12 2018
    Today, the Secretary for Administration and Finance and the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means announced a consensus tax revenue figure of $27.594 billion for FY 2019. As part of the agreement, the FY 2018 tax estimate has been upgraded by $157 million to $26.661 billion. Budget makers expect tax revenue to grow by $933 million (3.5 percent) as they put together the FY 2019 budget.
  • January 8 2018

    The fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget process is officially underway, commencing last month with the annual Consensus Revenue Hearing. The testimony provided at the hearing touched on a number of issues – including slow revenue growth, insufficient reserves and growing nondiscretionary costs – that have contributed to the budget challenges of recent years. The testimony also highlighted several potential policy changes at both the state and national level that will make developing the FY 2019 budget particularly difficult. This brief poses ten major questions that budget makers will face in the coming months.

  • December 15 2017

    Heading toward the halfway mark in fiscal year (FY) 2018, the state’s short-term fiscal outlook remains unclear. At this point in the fiscal year, the state budget appears to be in balance, with known spending needs largely offset by stronger than expected revenue collections. However, several potential budget problems are lurking on the horizon while a change in revenue trends or a surge in capital gains collections could quickly eliminate any revenue surplus. This brief outlines the current fiscal situation and highlights issues to watch in the months ahead.

  • December 10 2017
    Plaintiffs bring this lawsuit to exclude from the 2018 ballot an initiative petition that threatens to undermine our representative system of government and our separation of powers, and the long-standing consensus that the Legislature must maintain ultimate control over public finances. Petition No. 15-17 (the “Challenged Initiative”) would amend the Constitution to mandate a 4% surtax on all incomes above a specified level, with the revenue collected earmarked “only” for education and transportation spending. The Initiative is truly radical: Our Constitution never has mandated that a specific tax be imposed – let alone that a specific tax rate be collected – and, in the century since Article 48 introduced the initiative petition process, the Court repeatedly has affirmed that initiative petitions cannot be used to embed spending earmarks in the Constitution.
  • December 6 2017
    Forecasting state tax revenues 18 months into the future is always risky as unforeseen events often undermine predictions as the past three years have demonstrated.
  • November 16 2017
    Legislators are contemplating legislation designed to reduce cost in the state’s MassHealth program and in the health care industry more generally. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation believes that meaningful legislation in this area is vital to the state budget as well as the overall economy and is on record supporting a host of reforms designed to bring down cost.
  • November 13 2017
    We write today as a coalition of business groups and professional organizations to voice our concern over M.G.L. c. 149 s. 148B as it relates to the classification of independent contractors and respectfully request your support of Senate Bill 1043, An Act to Enhance Employment Opportunities, filed by Senator Michael Rodrigues.