The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center is regularly featured in newspapers, on the radio, on blogs, and anywhere reliable information is needed.
In The News
Boston Globe, February 25, 2015
Commonwealth Magazine, February 25, 2015
Boston Globe, February 25, 2015
Springfield Republican, February 25, 2015
WGBH, February 25, 2015
Public News Service, February 25, 2015
Daily Hampshire Gazette, February 24, 2015
It’s Time to Address Homelessness Written by Mariel Cariker· February 20, 2015 3:00 am These last few weeks have been absolutely nuts weather-wise in Boston. Freezing temperatures, more than 90 inches of snow and high speed, biting winds. As a student
The Daily Free Press, February 20, 2015
WGBH online, February 18, 2015
Springfield Republican, February 5, 2015
WBUR Morning Edition, February 4, 2015
WBUR Radio Boston, February 4, 2015
Boston Globe, February 3, 2015
Boston Globe, January 24, 2015
Boston Globe, January 23, 2015
Boston Globe, January 22, 2015
Lowell Sun, January 22, 2015
Boston Herald, January 22, 2015
WBUR Radio Boston, January 21, 2015
Attleboro Sun Chronicle, January 20, 2015
Boston Globe, January 20, 2015
WBUR Learning Lab, January 20, 2015
Springfield Republican, January 20, 2015
WBUR Learning Lab, January 16, 2015
Boston Globe, January 14, 2015
Woburn Advocate, January 11, 2015
Boston Globe, January 8, 2015
Boston Business Journal, January 2, 2015
WWLP News Channel 20, January 1, 2015
Boston Globe, January 1, 2015
Springfield Republican, January 1, 2015
Springfield Republican, December 31, 2014
WBUR Learning Lab, December 30, 2014
South Coast Today, December 20, 2014
WWLP News Channel 20, December 19, 2014
Boston Globe, December 17, 2014
Boston Globe, December 11, 2014
WWLP News Channel 20, November 13, 2014
Springfield Republican, November 11, 2014
Springfield Republican, November 11, 2014
Boston Globe, November 10, 2014
WBUR, November 10, 2014
Boston Globe, November 5, 2014
Huffington Post, November 4, 2014
Cape Cod Times, November 2, 2014
Dorchester Reporter, October 22, 2014
Boston Herald, October 22, 2014
WBUR, October 16, 2014
Springfield Republican, October 15, 2014
Commonwealth Magazine, October 10, 2014
WGBH, October 1, 2014
Lowell Sun, September 30, 2014
Boston Globe, September 30, 2014
Attleboro Sun Chronicle, September 30, 2014
Springfield Republican, September 29, 2014
WWLP News Channel 20, September 29, 2014
TV news story cites findings from MassBudget paper "Earned Paid Sick Time by the Numbers: Regional and Local Access In Massachusetts."
Boston Neighborhood Network News, September 25, 2014
Boston Globe, September 25, 2014
Worcester Telegram & Gazette, September 24, 2014
Go Local Worcester, September 24, 2014
Boston Globe, September 22, 2014
Boston Globe, September 19, 2014
Boston Globe, September 17, 2014
Boston.com, September 16, 2014
Boston Globe, September 15, 2014
The article quotes Noah Berger as saying that tax changes over the last 15 years that have benefitted the wealthy, have meant that "the lowest income households — those on living less than $21,000 a year — are paying 9.5 percent of their income toward state and local taxes while those in the top 1 percent — those earning about $700,000 or more — are paying just 6 percent."
Standard & Poors, September 15, 2014
Attleboro Sun Chronicle, September 14, 2014
Huffington Post, September 9, 2014
Boston Globe, September 1, 2014
Wicked Local Bourne, August 22, 2014
The article says: "A recent panel discussion held in Boston to launch an educational research partnership between the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy focused on several topics, including alternative routes to a high school diploma."
Taunton Daily Gazette, August 20, 2014
Noah Berger ... presented data showing that the higher the average level of education is in a state, the higher that state’s wages typically are.
Boston Globe, August 5, 2014
"Even with the nation’s third-highest jump in higher-ed spending from FY 2012 to FY 2014, Massachusetts is still 21 percent below its spending levels of 2001: the $1.2 billion set aside in fiscal 2015 does not come close to the $1.5 billion in 2001 inflation-adjusted dollars."
Boston Globe, August 3, 2014
Bay State Banner, August 2, 2014
Jamaica Plain Gazette, August 1, 2014
Wicked Local Chelmsford, July 29, 2014
Noah Berger is quoted, saying “The largest impact will be in areas where there are more low wage workers, but there are lower-wage workers in most cities and towns in the commonwealth.”
Public News Service, July 24, 2014
Lawrence Eagle Tribune, July 23, 2014
Springfield Republican, July 22, 2014
Boston.com, July 22, 2014
Boston Globe, July 22, 2014
Cape Cod Times, July 22, 2014
WBZ, July 22, 2014
Radio interview with Noah Berger and print article.
wcvb.com, July 22, 2014
Boston Neighborhood Network News, July 22, 2014
Boston Globe, July 22, 2014
Norton Patch, July 22, 2014
Boston.com, July 22, 2014
Worcester Go Local, July 22, 2014
"Two new studies – one by the Department of Labor and the other by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center – both have data points suggesting that the minimum wage increases will be beneficial to both Central Massachusetts and the Commonwealth as a whole, saying that increased jobs and sales will both occur as a result of increasing minimum wage from $8 an hour to $11 an hour."
Massachusetts Nonprofit Network appoints Brockton resident Michael Curry to board of directors: Michael Curry will continue as legislative affairs director and senior counsel from the Massachuwetts League of Community Health Centers.
Brockton Enterprise, July 18, 2014
Michael Curry is a member of MassBudget's Board of Directors
Brockton Enterprise, July 16, 2014
The article covers MassBudget's report "The Regional Impact of an $11/Hour Minimum Wage" and describes the extent Brockton's workers will be helped by the increase in minimum wage.
Taunton Daily Gazette, July 13, 2014
State lawmakers voted last month to raise the minimum wage to U.S.-leading $11 an hour by Jan. 1, 2017, increasing it incrementally from the current $8 minimum wage in Massachusetts. MassBudget's Noah Berger is quoted: "The largest impact will be in areas where there are more low-wage workers, but there are lower-wage workers in most cities and towns in the commonwealth." The article summarizes a MassBudget report "The Regional Impact of an $11/Hour Minimum Wage." Among other findings in the report are that statewide, an estimated 605,000 workers, or 20 percent of the Massachusetts labor force, can expect to see their wages rise.
National Law Review, July 2, 2014
Discusses some details of new Massachusetts minimum wage law. Refers to MassBudget findings that the provision applicable to non-tipped employees alone will affect more than 600,000 workers in Massachusetts (1 out of every 5 workers in the state).
WBUR, July 1, 2014
This radio peice says that even if voters vote down casinos in Massachusetts, the projected loss in revenues that would otherwise be received from casinos may not make much of a dent in the budget. MassBudget's Noah Berger is quoted as saying there are plenty of unpredictable risks in calculating a budget. "You build the budget based on assumptions about economic growth and a number of other factors that affect tax revenue,” he said. “And, if the tax revenue numbers are off by 1 percent in either direction, that’s a significantly larger swing than the casino revenue money."
Boston Globe, June 30, 2014
State lawmakers are will vote today [Monday, June 30] on a budget that would boost spending on the troubled Department of Children and Families to lighten caseloads for social workers, put new money toward drug addiction treatment, and increase support to cities and towns that have felt the pinch in previous years. MassBudget's Noah Berger called the budget "modest" and said it “makes smart, targeted investments in areas like higher education, strengthening child welfare services and addressing substance abuse prevention and treatment. . . but "is “not a dramatic attempt to address some of our biggest challenges at the scale of those problems.”
NACS online, June 30, 2014
Massachusetts is “on course to have the highest minimum wage of any state in the country,” reports the Boston Globe. Last week Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a bill raising the minimum wage incrementally by one dollar a year: $9 on Jan. 1, 2015; $10 on Jan. 1, 2016, and $11 on Jan. 1, 2017. The article quotes MassBudget from the Globe: "Furthermore, the new law isn’t tied to inflation, meaning that as prices for groceries, rent and electricity rise, “workers will fall further behind. … The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center estimates that by 2017, $11 will be worth $10.32 in today’s dollars.”
Boston Globe, June 30, 2014
The state budget approved by legislators today will give the University of Massachusetts system enough funding to freeze tuition and fees for a second straight year, but leaders of the state’s nine other public universities and 15 community colleges said their funding allocation is likely to mean higher prices and cuts to programming and staff. The article quotes MasssBudget's Noah Berger as saying that maintaining the affordability that community colleges and state universities provide is important to building the state’s workforce. “Tuition and fee increases are dangerous potentially for the future of the state economy,” Berger is quoted. “More so than many other states, we depend on a well-educated workforce to drive the state economy.”
Winchester Wicked local, June 29, 2014
While the House and Senate budget proposals for fiscal year 2015 call for increases to local aid, the additional funding doesn’t offset several years of cuts and level spending. "Local aid is an area of the budget that has been cut the most dramatically since the tax cuts of the 1990s," said Luc Schuster, deputy director of MassBudget.
WorcesterTelegram.com, June 29, 2014
New scrutiny would come from the Foundation Budget Review Commission, which, if a proposed law is enacted, would mandate a far-reaching examination of the Chapter 70 law used to allocate aid to schools. Brian E. Allen, the Worcester school's chief financial and operations officer, provided the data. "The inflation factor does not accurately reflect the true costs of health insurance increases; and also the foundation budget has never accurately captured the true cost of paying for special education services," Mr. Allen said in an interview. He pointed to a 2011 study by the nonprofit Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center that concluded $2.1 billion more is needed statewide to close the gap "between what the foundation budget says districts need for certain cost categories — and what districts are actually spending."
Bristol (Conn.) Press, June 27, 2014
The article starts as follows:"Many of us were stunned, reading Thursday’s paper, to learn that the cost of attending the University of Connecticut next year will be $24,518. Here in the newsroom, we remember a time when people, including us, went to state schools because they were affordable. That’s not how we see the 6.5 percent tuition hike that the University of Connecticut’s Board of Trustees approved Wednesday. In fact, according to the New York Times, college tuition and fees today are 559 percent of their cost in 1985." The article quotes an article authored in part by Noah Berger: "States can build a strong foundation for economic success and shared prosperity by investing in education. Providing expanded access to high quality education will not only expand economic opportunity for residents, but is also likely do more to strengthen the overall state economy than anything else a state government can do."
Boston Globe, June 26, 2014
The article says that the new minimum wage law -- which pushes the hourly rate in Massachusetts from $8 to $11 dollars over the next few years — gives the state the highest base pay in the nation. But it will still not be enough for some workers to live on. The article notes that MassBudget estimates that by 2017, $11 will be worth $10.32 in today’s dollars.
iBerkshires, June 26, 2014
Gov. Deval Patrick on Thursday, June 26 signed a bill making the state's minimum wage the highest in the nation, raising it from the current $8 to $11 over the next several years. MassBudget is quoted to the effect that the hike will directly affect some 11,000 workers in the greater Pittsfield area and indirectly another 2,600, or about 27 percent of wage earners. According to MassBudget: "According to MassBudget, more than 600,000 workers are at minimum wage, and more than 85 percent of those are age 20 and older. More than half are women and 140,000 are parents.
Commonwealth Magazine, June 24, 2014
The article concerns itself with the lack of indexing for inflation in the new law raising the minimum wage. It refers to a new policy brief in which MassBudget concludes that the increase will have a significant impact in regions of the state where there are large numbers of low-wage workers, such as outside Boston.
Wicked Local Chelmsford, June 23, 2014
The Massachusetts Legislature has voted to boost the state’s minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2017, increasing it by $1 dollar per year starting in 2015. The article says: "According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, the increase to $11 per hour will benefit roughly 600,000 workers, over 85% of whom are above the age of twenty. Nearly one in four is a parent."
Wicked Local Waltham, June 23, 2014
The Massachusetts Legislature has voted to boost the state’s minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2017, increasing it by $1 dollar per year starting in 2015. According to MassBudget, the increase to $11 per hour will benefit roughly 600,000 workers, over 85 percent of whom are above the age of 20. Nearly one in four is a parent.
Wicked Local Concord, June 20, 2014
The article says that while the House and Senate budget proposals for fiscal 2015 call for increases to local aid, the additional funding doesn’t offset several years of cuts and level spending. In particlular, it quotes MassBudget's Deputy Director, Luc Schuster: "Local aid is an area of the budget that has been cut the most dramatically since the tax cuts of the 1990s."
Boston Globe, June 19, 2014
The article concerns the recent difficulties facing the Department of Children and Families. The article includes a MassBudget chart showing the decline over the last several years in funding for the Department.
Boston Globe, June 14, 2014
The article extols Michael Widmer, retiring President of Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, and points out his support for educational programs in Massachusetts. MassBudget's Noah Berger, although often at odds with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, is quoted as saying that Widmer “consistently steers our public debates away from divisiveness and toward a spirit of working together toward a positive vision of the common good.”
Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise, June 14, 2014
The article discusses a conference about poverty in north central Massachusetts. It mentions that Noah Berger spoke about the benign effect of the recent raise in the minimum wage.
Boston Globe, June 13, 2014
The Massachusetts Senate has voted overwhelmingly to increase the minimum wage from $8 to $11 per hour by 2017. The House of Representatives is expected to approve the legislation next week, and Governor Deval Patrick has said he will sign it. The article quotes Noah Berger as saying; “Establishing an $11 per hour minimum wage will raise the wages of a half-million people in Massachusetts, which will be very important to those working people and their families and will also have a positive impact on the state economy.”
Wicked Local Fall River, June 11, 2014
The House and Senate budget proposals for fiscal 2015 call for increases to local aid, but the additional funds don’t offset several years of cuts and level spending. MassBudget's Luc Schuster is quoted as saying: “Local aid is an area of the budget that has been cut the most dramatically since the tax cuts of the 1990s.”
Newburyport Daily News, June 2, 2014
Article deals with who is to blame for escalating costs in the public schools. The article says: "As the financial watchdog organization Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center has pointed out, the state’s spending on local aid, which includes our public schools, is 46 percent below what it was in 2001, when adjusted for inflation. That is an enormous sum of money."
Boston Globe, June 1, 2014
The article says that Bridgewater resisted trend to more humane ways and that harsh handling of mentally ill increased. MassBudget is cited for the proposition that Massachusetts has actually cut its mental health care budget by $100 million, or more than 12 percent, since 2001, adjusting the figure for inflation.
Boston Globe, May 23, 2014
Senate votes to increase U.Mass funding. But according to MassBudget, spending for higher education dropped 31 percent between 2001 and 2013.
Wicked Local Brookline, May 23, 2014
The Senate pass a $36.4 billion budget that calls for new investments in child welfare. Noah Berger was quoted saying: Health and Human Services is a large part of the state budget, so it’s not that surprising there would be lot of amendments in those areas, but I do think there is new attention now on the Department of Children and Families, which has one of the most difficult jobs in state government."
Taunton Daily Gazette, May 22, 2014
Senators filed more than one quarter of budget amendments on the Office of Health and Human Services, which oversees the embattled Department of Children and families. MassBudget's Noah Berger is quoted as saying: "Health and Human Services is a large part of the state budget, so it’s not that surprising there would be lot of amendments in those areas, but I do think there is new attention now on the Department of Children and Families, which has one of the most difficult jobs in state government."
Boston Globe, May 19, 2014
Senate leaders' proposed budget would sharply increase U.Mass funding, freezing tuition for second year in a row. Figures from MassBudget are cited to the effect that state funding for U.Mass is $100 million less than in 2001, when adjusted for inflation.
Boston Globe, May 14, 2014
What it would cost to provide prekindergarten school for all kids in Massachusetts.
State House News Service, May 14, 2014
With additional money for pre-school, housing supports and child welfare, Senate leaders on 5/14 presented a $36.25 billion budget plan for next year that increases total state total spending by almost $1.7 billion from this year.
The Senate budget goes further than the House in chipping away at the waiting list for early education programs and in increasing spending for the Department of Children and Families by about $25 million to reduce caseloads for social workers and equip the department with new technology to help track and manage families under its watch.
The article quotes Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, as saying that, given the lack of appetite for new taxes the budget makes “smart” and targeted investments to begin tackling large issues that will require attention for years to come.
Boston Herald, May 14, 2014
A $36.25 billion state spending plan proposed 5/14 by Senate budget writers seeks increased funds for substance abuse prevention and for the state's child welfare agency. The proposal seeks an overall 4.8 percent increase in spending, but no new taxes.
MassBudget's Noah Berger was quoted as saying the Senate budget was "fiscally responsible" and focused on programs to help children, but does not call for significant new revenue, "limiting the investments we can make in expanding opportunity for our young people and strengthening our state economy over the long run."
Op ed Boston Globe, May 11, 2014
Whether proposed referendum on gambling reflects anti-business bias in Massachusettts. MassBudget's report cited that business taxes in Massachusetts are low.
Allston Brighton Wicked Local, May 7, 2014
Mayor Walsh has formed a Universal Pre-Kindergarten Advisory Committee to recommend a citywide plan to double the enrollment of four-year-olds in high quality, full-day pre-kindergarten programs by 2018. The Committee includes MassBudget's Noah Berger.
Boston Globe, May 4, 2014
Georgia and Oklahoma are the only two states that offer free preschool to every 4-year-old.
Sun Chronicle, May 2, 2014
The $36.2 billion House budget proposal for next fiscal year passed the House on a 148-2 vote. Some local legislators said of the plan that it "is balanced, avoids tax increases, and puts more money in neglected areas of state government such as treating substance abuse, mental illness and homelessness." MassBudget's Noah Berger was quoted as saying that while the Budget makes important incremental progress in restoring funding for higher education and the Department on Children and Families, "without new revenue, the House was unable to address the broader challenges of making sure that every child has access to a high-quality education, starting in the earliest years, and removing barriers to success by substantially expanding access to child care, job training, and other supports for working families struggling to make ends meet."
New England Public Radio, May 1, 2014
The Massachusetts House is recommending a $38 million increase over last fiscal year for the Department of Children and Families, as it undergoes a change in leadership. MassBudget's Noah Berger points out that, as important a step as that may be, “DCF funding is still 10 percent below what it was back in 2008 and adjusted for inflation.”
MSNBC.com, April 30, 2014
Massachusetts—friendlier than most to an active and involved government—remains the site of some of the country’s starkest disparities, according to this article.
Boston Globe, April 29, 2014
Last week the Massachusetts State Lottery, following some other states, introduced $30 scratch lottery tickets, saying there is a market for more costly games with the chance of bigger winnings. The prizes include four $15 million dollar tickets and 36 $1 million dollar tickets.
Boston Globe, April 29, 2014
The editorial says that more money is going to needed -- in the form of more tax revenue -- if the problems in the Department of Children and Families are to be cured
Boston Globe, April 22, 2014
Federal taxes are more progressive than most state taxes: a discussion.
WickedLocal - Acton, April 19, 2014
Discusses options for expanding early education and care in Massachusetts, and MassBudget's report on the issue. Quotes State Rep. Alice Peisch, D-Wellesley, the House Chair of the Joint Committee of Education, about the need to expand early education access and quotes Noah Berger, MassBudget's President, about how pre-kindergarten education makes a difference in kids' ability to do well in school.
Taunton Daily Gazette, April 18, 2014
Discussion of amendments to April 9 $36.5 million House Ways and Means Committee budget. Quote from article: Noah Berger, director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, predicted there will be considerable debate on issues such as youth jobs funding when the House takes up the budget the week of April 28. He doesn’t anticipate much discussion on new revenues. “The broader context is we are still in very difficult budget times,” Berger said. “We don’t have budget surpluses. We actually have ongoing budget gaps. We are still crawling our of worst economic recession since the Great Depression.”
980 WCAP , April 16, 2014
Discussion of business taxes in Massachusetts, which rank 30th or 40th in the country (depending how they are measured), and Massachusetts businesses' need for an educated workforce
Cape Cod Times, April 13, 2014
"As much as we all love to complain about paying taxes, how many of us really know where and how tax money is spent? "For a little perspective (as my mother always said was important), the two nonpartisan organizations I like to refer to every year during tax filing season — the deadline for which is Tuesday — are the Massachusetts-based National Priorities Project and the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget)." Quotes Noah Berger, MasssBudget's president, extensively on how high Massachusetts taxes, including business taxes, are, especially as compared to other states.
Boston Globe, April 10, 2014
"What if Massachusetts were a country, rather than a state? How would this Imaginary Republic of Massachusetts stack up against the nations of the world? Would it be a rich country, or a poor one? A nation of great inequality or shared prosperity? A beacon of multicultural harmony or an especially segregated society?" The article finds, among other surprising facts, that Massachusetts is very rich, in fact fourth after Norway, Luxembourg, and Singapore and ahead of Switzerland, the US (as a whole), and Hong Kong
Fall River Herald News, April 9, 2014
The House proposal calls for $25.5 million in additional unrestricted local aid for cities and towns and $100 million in additional Chapter 70 education funding. "Noah Berger, director of the Massachusetts Budget Policy Center, said the budget proposal “takes some small steps” forward, but could do more had the House chosen to introduce new revenue streams. “What this budget doesn't do is present a strong, long-term vision for expanding opportunity and strengthening our economy by providing significant new support for things like workforce training, early education and other investments in our people,” he said."
Boston Globe, April 9, 2014
House leaders released a proposed $36.2 billion budget Wednesday that increases funding for drug treatment, higher education, and local aid, but rejects Governor Deval Patrick’s push for new taxes and trims some of his priorities, including early education programs. Noah Berger, MassBudget's President, is quoted.
WWLP Channel 22 (Springfield) News, April 8, 2014
TV newsclip, covering Massbudget's new report Building a Foundation for Success, says that kids 3 & 4yrs old either receive no early education or pay full price for private schooling. The report found that expanding affordable access for all eligible children to pre-kindergarten education would cost the state $1.5 billion
Boston Globe, April 8, 2014
Describes the rudiments of the budget process in Massachusetts, concentrating on the House Ways and Means Committee budget, to be issued April 9, 2014. Includes data from Massbudget
Boston Globe, April 7, 2014
About 19,000 children age 3 and 4 from low-income Massachusetts families, who probably cannot afford early education programs, do not get public assistance for preschool or prekindergarten, according to a new report from a budget research group. These children come from families in poverty or whose incomes fall below most basic cost-of-living thresholds — about $40,000 for a family of three, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center study found, adding to the long-simmering debate about expanding school access for young children .
Taunton Daily Gazette, April 7, 2014
WBUR, April 1, 2014
Answers various questions about the minimum wage in Massachusetts, and features information from MassBudget.
Boston Globe, March 31, 2014
The article says that many Massachusetts businesses have backed off their longstanding opposition to raising the state’s minimum wage if, in return, lawmakers drop a planned increase in the unemployment insurance taxes that businesses pay. According to the article, business leaders say this “balanced approach” would probably win many employers’ tacit support for raising the pay of the lowest-paid workers. The article quotes John Regan, a lobbyist for Associated Industries of Massachusetts, a trade group. According to the article, businesses have mounted an aggressive campaign to persuade legislators to stop an average 30 percent increase in the unemployment tax from taking effect at the end of May. If that increase is canceled, businesses would avoid paying an average of $240 a year more for every worker they employ. Several states are considering increases through legislation or voter initiatives, including Massachusetts, where a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour from $8 by 2016 appears headed to the November ballot. The Massachusetts House and Senate are each considering a minimum-wage increase, but differ on whether it should rise to $10.50 or $11 an hour over three years and whether to automatically increase it at the rate of inflation in subsequent years. The article mentions information provided by Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and quotes Representative Tom Conroy, a Wayland Democrat.
New Hampshire Business Review, March 31, 2014
Report by MassBudget says that Massachusetts – often scornfully referred to as "Taxachusetts" – actually has a lower business tax burden than most other states, including New Hampshire.
The Enterprise, March 29, 2014
A new analysis by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center says the state ranks 40th for overall business taxes, and is second lowest in New England
Boston Globe, March 28, 2014
Massachusetts is not, in fact, “Taxachusetts.” Rather, the Bay State is right in the middle, neither high nor low, imposing less of a burden on its citizens than certain other states filled with anti-tax braggadocio (ahem, that would be you, New Hampshire). But “Taxachusetts” is also less about reality than it is a state of mind. We may not tax heavily now, but we used to — and if certain folks had their druthers, we would once again. The financial website WalletHub just released its ranking of the best and worst states to be a taxpayer. On top was Wyoming (with average annual taxes of $2,365) while Massachusetts ($6,884) came in at 21. Some states with greater tax burdens defy stereotypes. South Carolina, for example, was 23rd, Georgia 26th, and the aforementioned Granite State was 28th ($7,419). That seems a puzzle. With no sales or income taxes, how can New Hampshire be worse off than Massachusetts? Continue reading below ▼ Because politicians are crafty people. New Hampshire crows about the taxes it doesn’t have even as it finds other ways to reach into pocketbooks; its property taxes, for example, are among the highest in the nation. In fact, the myth of Taxachusetts has been widely reported. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center observes the Bay State takes 10.4 percent of its citizens’ incomes as taxes, less than the US average of 10.6 percent. The nonpartisan StateMaster looked at taxes as a percent of GDP and ranked Massachusetts right in the middle, at 25. The Tax Foundation notes that, when it comes to taxes, Massachusetts is a “beacon of moderation.”
NECN, March 23, 2014
Noah Berger, President of Massachusetts Budget and Policy, and Jon Hurst, President of Retailers Association of Massachusetts, debate about raising the minimum wage.
Berkshire Eagle, March 10, 2014
For a hundred years Massachusetts has been setting minimum wage rates. Today, however, that wage, at $8 an hour, is worth 25 percent less than it was in 1968. Adjusting for inflation, a full-time minimum wage worker made $21,000 a year in 1968. Today that worker makes just $16,000. That decline has contributed to growing inequality and to a declining standard of living for lower wage working people - even as our economy continues to grow.
Patriot Ledger, March 8, 2014
State economic policy should aim to make life better for regular people. That means everyone who works for a living should be able to make a living – not just scraping by, but a living with security and the ability to raise children and save for the future. For the past several decades, our national economy and policy-makers have not achieved these goals. Workers did their part. American productivity has doubled. But the resulting prosperity has not been broadly shared. Incomes have increased dramatically for the very wealthy, while wages for folks in the middle have barely budged – and our lowest-wage workers have seen the value of their wages decline. For a hundred years, Massachusetts has been setting minimum-wage rates. Today, however, that wage, at $8 an hour, is worth 25 percent less than it was in 1968. Adjusting for inflation, a full-time minimum-wage worker made $21,000 a year in 1968. Today that worker makes just $16,000. That decline has contributed to growing inequality and to a declining standard of living for lower-wage working people – even as our economy continues to grow.
Boston Globe - Op-Ed, February 12, 2013
Tax policy debates are about how we pay for the things we do together for our communities, our families, and our economy. Working together through government allows us to accomplish things that are vital to us as a Commonwealth and that we can't do alone...About 15 years ago, at the height of the dot-com bubble, our state made tax policy choices that have shaped state policy ever since...The state enacted a series of cuts to the income tax that are now costing us close to $3 billion a year. We cut the tax rate on most income from 5.95 percent to 5.3 percent, costing over $1.5 billion. We cut the tax rate on dividends and interest from 12 percent to 5.3 percent, costing about $850 million. We increased the personal deduction to $4,400, costing $550 million.
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, January 23, 2011
WITH THE governor scheduled to file his budget proposal for the coming year on Wednesday, and the Commonwealth facing a budget gap of close to $2 billion, knowing that our government provides services as efficiently as possible will be more important than ever.