• February 2003

Fragile Progress: Reining In Massachusetts’ High Business Costs

Despite a decade of progress, high business costs in key areas continue to hold back the Massachusetts economy, and more must be done to make the Commonwealth competitive. That is the conclusion of the latest update in MTF's series comparing business costs in Massachusetts with those in other states. The report, prepared in collaboration with the Associated Industries of Massachusetts and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, finds that a series of reforms enacted over the last decade has brought business costs in Massachusetts closer to those in competing states. The improvement in workers' compensation has been particularly dramatic. Nevertheless, Massachusetts businesses continue to pay a premium in the other four areas, with costs well above average in health care, electricity, unemployment insurance, and corporate and personal income taxes. The report makes several recommendations to preserve and strengthen the reforms and policies that have produced significant progress in reducing business costs relative to other states over the last decade.