Publications: Public Finance

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  • October 31 2019
    Given the recent attention to the issue of whether Massachusetts should decouple from Internal Revenue Code Section 163(j), the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (MTF) has assembled a brief primer on the issue explaining what the provision does, why it is necessary, likely impacts, and cost implications.
  • October 16 2019
    Though the Commonwealth’s fiscal year 2019 ended June 30th, decisionmakers must make several important choices before the final accounting of the state’s finances for the year can be completed. Most importantly, lawmakers will determine how to allocate the year-end budget surplus, which revised MTF calculations now estimate at approximately $870 million.
  • September 30 2019

    Though the Commonwealth’s fiscal year 2019 ended June 30th, decisionmakers must make several important decisions before the final accounting of the state’s finances for the year can be completed. Most importantly, lawmakers will determine how to allocate the year-end budget surplus, which MTF calculates at approximately $767 million.

  • September 11 2019
    I am writing today in support of House Bill 2446: An Act Relative to the Massachusetts Estate Tax Code. While the Foundation believes that the Massachusetts estate tax should mirror the federal estate tax, this bill would more closely align the Massachusetts estate tax with federal law, and is a reasonable initial step to ensure that the Commonwealth is not an outlier among its peer states.
  • August 8 2019
    The Commonwealth Stabilization Fund, the state’s “rainy day” fund, is a critical component of the Commonwealth’s financial structure. For example, amid the Great Recession in fiscal 2009, budgeted tax revenue plummeted by nearly $2.7 billion compared to fiscal 2008.
  • August 2 2019
    Governor Charlie Baker signed his fifth General Appropriations Act (GAA) on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, giving his approval to $43.6 billion in spending appropriations. While choosing not to exercise his veto authority to reduce spending, the Governor did veto line-item language in 7 spending accounts and returned 9 of the 108 policy sections to the legislature for further review.
  • July 26 2019
    I write to offer comments on the rule proposal entitled “Fiduciary Conduct Standard for Broker-Dealers, Agents, Investment Advisers and Investment Adviser Representatives”
  • July 22 2019
    Massachusetts legislators released their compromise plan for the fiscal 2020 budget, authorizing $43.6 billion in spending for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2019. The six-member budget conference committee reconciled the differences between the budget plans adopted by the House and Senate 21 days after the start of the new fiscal year.
  • June 27 2019
    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts may be on track to end fiscal year 2019 with a surplus of approximately $522 million according to a new analysis. MTF outlined a framework for handling any fiscal 2019 surplus, including (1) Add to the state’s “rainy day” fund; (2) Pay down unfunded pension and OPEB liabilities; (3) Make one-time investments in transportation and education initiatives.
  • June 21 2019
    As you know, tax revenue collections through May 2019 exceeded expectations by $952 million. If this strength continues through June, budgeted tax revenue will grow nearly seven percent over the strong fiscal 2018 collections.