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

State spending is under control, except for health care

Boston Globe, February 4, 2016

Uses MassBudget spending data.

Gov. Charlie Baker Rolled Out His $39.6b Budget Yesterday

Politico, January 28, 2016

Noah Berger, president of the independent Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, was skeptical of the single sales factor’s benefits, citing a study by economist David Merriman which found tweaking states’ single sales factor tax systems ‘has no statistically significant impact on manufacturing employment’ in that state. "The tax break ‘looks like it will ultimately cost $67 million a year and that’s a tax break where there’s been no evidence it’s been effective in the past and there’s no reason to believe spending that much money on it in the future will be effective," Berger told reporters. "Currently, the state spends $200 million for the tax break. The change will raise the figure to $267 million, according to MassBudget’s estimates.”

Charlie Baker unveils budget; no new taxes

Boston Herald, January 28, 2016

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center President Noah Berger slammed Baker’s proposal for a corporate tax break, called a single sales factor tax, in the otherwise “status-quo budget.” “There is no evidence that it’s been effective in the past and there’s no reason to believe that spending that much money on it in the future will be effective,” Berger said.

Governor would hold MassHealth spending increase to 5%

Boston Globe, January 28, 2016

“The big picture is that health care costs have been rising rapidly across the country for a very long time, and state programs that provide health care are affected very significantly by the overall costs,” said Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a research organization. “That’s having an effect on the state’s bottom line.” Berger noted that the federal government reimburses about half of MassHealth spending, because it is a joint state-federal program, softening the blow on state coffers.

Baker Set to Release Fiscal 2017 Budget Bill

NECN, January 27, 2016

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, in a separate analysis, projected the gap to be $684 million.

As Baker readies budget plan, groups warn of shortfalls

The Washington Times, January 27, 2016

“It is even more unlikely that we will see a budget that will raise new revenue to fund investments in the future of our Commonwealth: like making higher education affordable again and modernizing our roads and bridges and public transportation systems,” (MassBudget) said."

Mass. facing $635 million budget gap, officials say

Boston Globe, January 27, 2016

“I think Baker is focused on running the government as effectively and efficiently as possible, and that’s a very good thing,” said Noah Berger, president of the liberal-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “But I think the problem he’s going to come up against more and more is that solving some of our big problems like fixing our transportation system, making higher education more affordable, strengthening our public schools, and expanding pre-K require revenue as well as reforms.”

What’s In Gov. Baker’s Proposed Budget And What’s Left Behind

Radio Boston, January 27, 2016

Radio interview with Noah Berger

Baker says nearly $40B budget holds line on spending, taxes

Boston Herald, January 27, 2016

Noah Berger, president of the independent Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said it was largely a "status quo" budget despite some positive elements. "There are no major new efforts to expand access to early education, to make higher education more affordable, or to make new investments in fixing our transportation infrastructure," Berger said in a statement.

Baker budget’s focus is fiscal restraint: No new taxes, fees and limited spending growth

CommonWealth Magazine, January 27, 2016

Noah Berger, president of Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, credited the governor with reducing the reliance on one-time revenues to balance spending, but questioned some of the governor’s priorities. “I think there are other choices in this budget. I think that when you’re spending $67 million on an expanded corporate tax break that hasn’t worked in the past that might be the first place to look in terms of finding money to invest in things like making higher education more affordable or fixing our transportation infrastructure,” Berger said.

Advocates debate millionaire tax

Bay State Banner, January 27, 2016

Representatives of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center noted that the state’s highest income households now pay a lower share of household income in taxes than other Massachusetts households, as Kaufman pointed out. MassBudget’s recent report also finds that transportation infrastructure investments create a competitive advantage over other states and regions.

Baker unveils new budget, tweak to corporate tax break calculation

Politico, January 27, 2016

“While the Governor's budget reportedly proposes paying for part of this cost by reforming the state's film tax credit, ultimately the proposal to spend $67 million to expand this tax credit should be weighed against other potential investments such as making college more affordable, expanding access to early education, improving our schools, or fixing our transportation infrastructure,”

Gov. Charlie Baker's proposed $39.5B budget shows 3.5 percent increase, but no tax or fee hikes

Springfield Republican, January 27, 2016

Noah Berger, president of the liberal-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said he would like to see Baker spend more money on services like education and transportation. "A lot of it is a very much a status quo budget," Berger said. "There aren't significant new investments in things like making higher education more affordable or expanding access to early education or improving our K-12 schools or fixing our transportation system."

What Are States Going To Do To Make Higher Ed More Affordable?

Huffington Post, January 25, 2016

Moore said it would cost Massachusetts $127 million to make community college free for all students, citing a report from the nonprofit Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Milton preschool illustrates haphazard state funding

Boston Globe, January 24, 2016

“Overall, funding for early education has been basically flat over the last 10 years,” said Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a nonpartisan group that tracks and analyzes the state budget. “There were some increases immediately after 2005 and cuts during the Great Recession and then some modest increases since then. But overall, we’re just about where we started.”

Baker seeks to spread tax break to all industries

Boston Business Journal, January 24, 2016

Noah Berger, the president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said the disparity may be so great because manufacturers and mutual fund managers are best-positioned to take advantage of the altered tax formula. Unlike a traditional retailer, for example, they can make sales across the country without necessarily needing a physical presence in many different locations.

To woo GE, state and city painted bright picture

Boston Globe, January 15, 2016

“I haven’t seen any evidence that we needed to do that kind of package,” said Noah Berger, president of the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “[But] if we’re doing infrastructure work, that’s good for our state, and GE is the beneficiary of it, that’s much more efficient than tax giveaways.”

Noah Berger of MassBudget on GE's Move to Boston

WRKO Morning Show, January 15, 2016

Noah Berger radio interview

Backed by subsidies, GE shops for real estate

Boston Globe, January 13, 2016

If city and state officials stick to underwriting related improvements, rather than giving GE a tax cut, then Boston should make out OK in the deal, said Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “You don’t want to divert resources from our region’s long-term strengths,” he said. “Make investments that stay in our community.”

Massachusetts raises minimum wage in 2016

The Chelmsford Independent, January 9, 2016

The increase will affect an estimated 450,000 full-time workers, 81 percent of whom are ages 20 or older, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Basic Black: Massachusetts Economy in Black and Green

WGBH TV, January 8, 2016

Panel discussion of State of Black Massachusetts report, commissioned by the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts

Mass. Minimum Wage Rises To $10 An Hour

WBUR, January 1, 2016

By one estimate, from the liberal-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, nearly half a million workers in the state will see “modest increases in their paychecks” because of the newly raised pay floor.

Some hourly workers in Attleboro area to see boost to pay with rise in minimum wage

Attleboro Sun Chronicle, January 1, 2016

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center estimates about 450,000 workers will benefit statewide from the higher minimum wage.

Massachusetts minimum wage increases, state income tax decreases take effect today

MassLive.com, January 1, 2016

According to the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, the increase in 2016 to $10 an hour will affect 450,000 workers.

State’s minimum wage increase $1 on January 1st

WWLP.com Channel 22, December 31, 2015

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center said about 450,000 workers will benefit from the hike. 23-percent are parents.

$10 minimum wage goes into effect Jan. 1 in Mass.

myfoxboston.com, December 30, 2015

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center says about 450,000 workers will benefit from the latest hike. The center says about 60 percent of those workers are women and 23 percent are parents.

280,000 low-wage workers in Massachusetts to get New Year’s raise

SAMPAN, December 30, 2015

By 2017, increasing the minimum wage to $11 per hour will raise the wages of approximately 450,000 workers in Massachusetts, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. The legislation also increases wages for tipped workers to $3.75 per hour by 2017. Current law sets wages at $2.63 for tipped workers.

Twin boosts for low-income workers on Jan. 1

Boston Globe, December 28, 2015

“We still have a long way to go to make sure that everyone who works for a living can earn a living, but [an 11 percent] pay raise is pretty significant,” said Noah Berger, president of the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Massachusetts' hourly minimum wage to rise in 2016

Boston Herald, December 27, 2015

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center says about 450,000 workers will benefit from the latest hike. The center says about 60 percent of those workers are women and 23 percent are parents.

Editorial: Budget blues linger

Boston Herald, December 21, 2015

The Boston Globe explained recently that the “massive income tax cut” approved by voters in 2000 — which has happened in tiny increments, over a decade and a half — is the single source of the state’s ongoing budget woes. The Globe cited an analysis by the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center that suggests the tax rollback has “cost” the state $2 billion in revenue each year. Senate Ways and Means chairman Karen Spilka last week also cited a $2 billion figure.

Tax bills to increase in both towns

The Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle, December 17, 2015

“The overall level of taxation has declined dramatically as percentage of income in Massachusetts,” said Noah Berger, executive director of MassBudget. In Massachusetts, according to the report, state and local taxes equal 10.1 percent of total personal income, compared to a national average of 10.4 percent.

A Disingenuous Ruling on Immigration

Huffington Post, December 14, 2015

In Massachusetts, for example, an $80 fee not only covers the cost of producing a license, but also provides a tidy profit to the treasury (cites to MassBudget report on immigrant driver's licenses).

What is happening to the state’s rainy day fund?

Boston Globe, December 9, 2015

Ultimately, though, it was voters who created this budget problem and bequeathed it to politicians, by approving a ballot initiative in 2000 that set the income tax rate on a downward course from 5.95 to 5 percent. That cut continues to cost the state nearly $2 billion every year, according to an analysis from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a nonprofit and left-leaning research organization.

The Mass. Millionaires Who Want Higher Taxes

Radio Boston, December 2, 2015

Cites MassBudget data

Noah Berger of MassBudget on Increasing Taxes on the Rich

WRKO Morning Show, December 1, 2015

Radio interview with Noah Berger, MassBudget President.

Millionaire’s tax could raise extra $2.2b

CommonWealth Magazine, November 30, 2015

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center President Noah Berger, whose research has been used and cited by the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition, said he believes the DOR estimate is the “newer” and “most accurate” projection, and accounts for inflation between now and 2019. If valued today, Berger said the revenue estimate would probably be closer to $1.7 billion. “I think that it means that there’s lot of income over a million in Massachusetts. The number is what it is,” he said. MassBudget reports that from 1979 through 2011, incomes for the highest 1 percent of earners in Massachusetts grew at a rate 10 times faster than the bottom 90 percent, capturing almost half of all income growth in the state during that period.

Report says Mass. tax burden is 24th highest in U.S.

Quincy Patriot Ledger, November 23, 2015

Using new tax and income data from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the nonprofit Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center recently released an analysis that ranks Massachusetts as having the 24th highest tax burden in the nation. The report calculated tax burden as a percentage of income. “The overall level of taxation has declined dramatically as percentage of income in Massachusetts,” said Noah Berger, executive director of MassBudget. In Massachusetts, according to the report, state and local taxes equal 10.1 percent of total personal income, compared to a national average of 10.4 percent.

Mass taxes rank in the middle

Georgetown Record, November 18, 2015

“The overall level of taxation has declined dramatically as percentage of income in Massachusetts,” said Noah Berger, executive director of MassBudget. In Massachusetts, according to the report, state and local taxes equal 10.1 percent of total personal income, compared to a national average of 10.4 percent.

Using data to improve the lives of children and their families

Children's Health Watch Blog, October 27, 2015

On the one hand, the recent U.S. Census data give us reason to congratulate ourselves...Thanks to our nation-leading health care reform initiative driven by a broad coalition of community activists, health care providers, policy-makers, and forward-thinking business leaders, Massachusetts continues to lead the way in making sure that almost every single child has access to health insurance... On the other hand, the U.S. Census data give us reason for pause. We are half a decade out of the recession, yet the benefits of our country’s great economic prosperity are not finding their way to many of our youngest residents.

Congressman James McGovern, advocates focus on solutions to student-debt crisis at UMass forum

Daily Hampshire Gazette, October 15, 2015

Luc Schuster of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center said his organization’s estimates show that the state could offer free tuition and fees to all public university and community college students for between $325 million and $631 million, depending on whether it subsidized books and transportation fees and other expenses associated with higher education.

How to earn profits and avoid taxes

Bay State Banner, October 14, 2015

Massachusetts misses out on about $600 million each year as a result of these strategies. That’s substantial, enough for a massively expanded early-education program, for instance (link to MassBudget early ed report).

State’s rainy day fund has dwindled over past decade

Boston Globe, October 5, 2015

Noah Berger, president of the liberal-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said the diminished size of the fund and the state’s propensity to drain it worries him. If Massachusetts hasn’t built up enough of a reserve for the next recession, he said, “the state will have to cut deeply into funding for important things like K-12, higher education, aid to cities and towns, and transportation” — or raise taxes.

Helping low-income families out of poverty

Commonwealth Magazine, September 30, 2015

According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, over the past decade, funding has been reduced for adult education, job training, child care subsidies, housing, and many other programs that help those in poverty cover the basic expenses and pursue the education and training needed to become economically secure. Since the largest user of these services are women looking to improve the lives of their families, they and their children bear the brunt of these budget cuts.

80 Percent in State Drive to Work: How Are Undocumented Getting There?

Public News Service, September 29, 2015

Eighty percent of state residents rely on a vehicle to get to work, according to a new Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center report.

Mass. lawmakers weigh new tax breaks for businesses

Lawrence Eagle Tribune, September 28, 2015

A recent report by the nonprofit Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center found that the value of the state's business tax credits has more than doubled in two decades, from $342 million in 1996 to more than $770 million in 2012.

IBM granted $2.5M in tax breaks for locating digital health venture

Boston Globe, September 23, 2015

“Compared to other tax breaks, it’s a relatively modest amount of money,” said Noah Berger, president of the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “The problem is that there’s no evidence that these jobs wouldn’t have been created without the tax break. . . . Ultimately, we need to keep our eye on the ball and focus on fundamentals, like making sure we have a well-educated, highly skilled workforce.”

New tax breaks for businesses weighed

The Salem News, September 22, 2015

A recent report by the nonprofit Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center found that the value of the state’s business tax credits has more than doubled in two decades, from $342 million in 1996 to more than $770 million in 2012.

The rich who say tax me more

Boston Globe, September 18, 2015

In Massachusetts, everyone pays a flat state tax rate of 5.15 percent, and under the proposed tiered structure (includes link to MassBudget report), all earnings over $1 million would be taxed 4 percentage points higher.

Massachusetts Incomes Rise Slightly, Poverty Rate Stays The Same

Radio Boston, September 17, 2015

Radio interview with Noah Berger

Expanded pre-kindergarten in Springfield, Holyoke part of Beacon Hill push

Springfield Republican, September 16, 2015

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a liberal-leaning research institute, estimated that providing full-day pre-kindergarten for 3- and 4-year-olds through the public schools would cost between $860 million and $1.48 billion a year. Other options involving partnerships with private providers could be cheaper.

Free public higher education is within our grasp

Daily Hampshire Gazette, September 16, 2015

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center has shown that to cover the tuition and fees for every current public higher education student in Massachusetts would cost $631 million.

Tuition and fee freezes end for UMass students after budget talks take center stage over summer

Massachusetts Daily Collegian, September 9, 2015

According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, the state has cut higher education spending, in real terms, by 25 percent over the last 14 years.

NightSide w/ Dan Rea - The True Cost Of Debt-Free College Education

WBZ Radio, September 9, 2015

Radio interview with Noah Berger

An Economy that Works for Everyone

Reading Patch, September 8, 2015

As the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center pointed out in its Labor Day 2015: Important Gains, Many Challenges for MA Workers analysis, “Since the late 1970s, wages and incomes for most working families have stagnated. By contrast, for the highest income households, incomes have grown at ten times the rate of income growth for the bottom 90% of the population.”

Beacon Hill Earmarks: Justifiable Shortcuts, Or Political Pork?

WGBH, August 31, 2015

"Earmarks, like every other part of government, can be good, or can be bad — it’s a matter of judging the merits of each individual one," Berger said. "The important thing about earmarks is that they should be subject to the same standards as everything else."

Hearing set on free community college bill

The Barnstable Patriot, August 28, 2015

According to the nonprofit Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, the net cost of eliminating tuition and fees at Massachusetts community colleges, based on fiscal 2013 data, would be an additional $127 million a year. That cost would be on top of $192 million in federal Pell grants, scholarships and other public sources of student support already in place.

Most school districts can’t put brakes on bus fees

Boston Globe, August 20, 2015

While the foundation budget “was adjusted for inflation, it hasn’t been updated since 1993,” said Noah Berger, president of Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a nongovernmental research group. “With a funding system based on 1993 operating in 2015, we see a lot of gaps between actual costs and the funding that the state provides. And because of those gaps, districts are forced to increase fees and not provide the quality of education that would be best for our children.”

Free community college proposal to get September hearing

Fall River Herald News, August 20, 2015

“We’re a state economy that depends in large part on the education of the state’s workforce,” (Luc Schuster) said. “We don’t have a lot of natural resources to drive the economy. People who attend institutions of public higher education, in particular, are more likely to stay in-state and contribute to our economy in the long term.”

Is DCF better or worse off than a year ago?

Boston Globe, August 12, 2015

Includes DCF budget information from MassBudget's Budget Browser.

Free public higher education is within state’s reach

Daily Hampshire Gazette, August 12, 2015

Recently the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center issued a report that shows that free public higher education is within our grasp. It would cost the state about $127 million to eliminate tuition and fees for all current community college students, about $198 million for state university students excluding UMass (or $325 million for both community college and state university combined), and about $631 million for state students at all campus types including UMass.

Activists advancing millionaires’ tax

Bay State Banner, August 12, 2015

Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, agrees that this new cash flow could have a big impact on the state. “Most economists feel that the foundations for state economic strength are having a well-educated work force and transportation and other infrastructure that supports business activity,” he says. “Generating over a billion dollars a year to invest in education and transportation could significantly improve the long-term prospects of the state.”

Companies struggling to recruit, train skilled workers

The Salem News, August 4, 2015

The state spent more than $42 million in the last budget year on workforce development and training, career centers and employment programs, according to the nonprofit Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Liberal groups propose higher tax for top earners: Ballot measure would aid transit projects, schools

Boston Globe, July 23, 2015

(T)he new revenue would allow the state to reverse what they say is chronic underinvestment in areas such as early education and public transit. “That would help a lot of families around Massachusetts,” said Noah Berger, president of the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “It would also strengthen our economy in the long run.”

Are US children being left behind in economic recovery? Report finds more living in poverty than before the Great Recession

Boston Globe, July 21, 2015

Twenty-two percent of American children were living in poverty in 2013 compared with 18 percent in 2008, according to the latest Kids Count Data Book, with poverty rates nearly double among African-Americans and American Indians and problems most severe in South and Southwest.

Report: Despite economic recovery, poverty a problem in state, Brockton

Brockton Enterprise, July 21, 2015

A national survey of the economic, educational, health and community well-being of children, released on Tuesday, shows that despite years of economic recovery, more children in Massachusetts are living in poverty than during the Great Recession. About one in six children – 16 percent – in Massachusetts is stranded in poverty. That is up from 12 percent in 2008, according to the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

How Much It Would Cost To Make College Free In Massachusetts… Or At Least Less Expensive

WBUR Learning Lab, July 21, 2015

In a report released this week, the nonpartisan Boston-based policy analysis group explores options that would make public higher education in Massachusetts have a much more affordable price tag: free. The options they explore would come with a cost of between $325 million and $631 million a year for the state, with various methods of eliminating tuition and fees for in-state students at community colleges and state universities. “Making higher education much more affordable and making it possible for kids to graduate debt-free would not only help those kids and our economy, but it’s something that could be done at a reasonable cost,” said Noah Berger, president of Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Bringing an end to film tax credits

Boston Globe, July 16, 2015

According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, the film program has generated only 430 net jobs each year for Massachusetts residents. Those jobs paid an average salary of $70,000, yet each one cost the state more than $119,000. Similarly, the subsidies have returned only about 14 cents in new revenue to the Commonwealth for every taxpayer dollar forgone.

EITC helps the working middle class

Boston Globe, July 14, 2015

Increasing the EITC fosters the strength of hard-working families. According to the Massachusetts Center for Budget and Policy, the federal EITC and the federal Child Tax Credit combined to lift 9.4 million Americans out of poverty in 2013, five million of them children. In Massachusetts, these two federal tax credits — even without figuring in the state’s separate EITC — combined to help keep roughly 74,000 Massachusetts children out of poverty.

State budget supports Baker on MBTA overhaul

Boston Globe, July 7, 2015

Noah Berger, the president of the liberal-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said the earned income tax credit increase “will help hundreds of thousands of working families pay for basic necessities like clothing and nutritious food for their kids.” He pointed to studies that he said show “when the income of low-wage families increases, there are long-term positive effects on the children: They do better in school and earn more as adults.”

Momentum grows for earned income credit

Littleton Independent, June 18, 2015

“Doubling the state Earned Income Tax Credit could raise incomes of some low-income working families by $900 per year,” said Noah Berger, executive director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “Money could be used for basic necessities such as rent, food and taking care of kids, or it could be used for things like after-school programs.”

The ACA is Good For Massachusetts (Budget Impact Edition)

Health Care For All Blog, June 17, 2015

The study correctly identifies health spending growth as the most critical ongoing budget problem. The boost in federal funds doesn't affect long-term growth trends. We must continue to take steps to reduce health care cost growth.

Temporary Medicaid coverage after Massachusetts Health Exchange website failed cost $650 million, state says

Springfield Republican, June 16, 2015

A new study by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center found that while state spending on MassHealth and related health care costs increased by $1.17 billion between fiscal year 2014 and 2015, federal reimbursements for health care grew by $1.02 billion. Much of this is due to higher federal reimbursement rates when the state expanded eligibility for MassHealth and other subsidized health insurance programs.

To 'be great,' we have to stop underfunding public universities

Springfield Republican, June 15, 2015

Massachusetts cut state funding per student by 36.3 percent between fiscal years 2008 and 2014, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. That's more than 42 other states over the same period of time, including Texas and every New England state except New Hampshire, which was a close sixth. The statistics are nearly as stark over the past 15 years.

Looming cut to kindergarten grants alarming

MetroWest Daily News, June 13, 2015

All districts with kindergarten-aged students must provide at least a part-time program - a total of 425 hours per school year or roughly 2.5 hours per day, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Looming cut to kindergarten grants alarming

Hudson Sun, June 13, 2015

All districts with kindergarten-aged students must provide at least a part-time program - a total of 425 hours per school year or roughly 2.5 hours per day, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Mara Dolan Interview

980 WCAP, June 1, 2015

For audio of Noah's interview discussing the Pacheco Law, please go here: https://soundcloud.com/the-mara-dolan-show/the-mara-dolan-show-with-guest-noah-berger

Senate tax plan would benefit all residents

The Salem News, June 1, 2015

In analyzing the impact of these reductions, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center reported that 25 percent of the benefits have gone to the top 1 percent of earners making an average annual salary of $2.57 million.

Norwood Rep. John Rogers talks Earned Income Tax Credit

Norwood Transcript & Bulletin, June 1, 2015

“Doubling the state Earned Income Tax Credit could raise incomes of some low-income working families by $900 per year,” said Noah Berger, executive director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “Money could be used for basic necessities such as rent, food and taking care of kids, or it could be used for things like after-school programs.”

Boost participation in school breakfast programs

Boston Globe, May 31, 2015

A report by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, which was commissioned by the Eos Foundation, calculated that statewide, low-income schools would bring in an additional $25 million per year in breakfast reimbursement if breakfast participation rose to 80 percent.

Elevated concern: More than 1 in 5 elevators lack inspection

Boston Herald, May 27, 2015

This year’s budget allowed the department to boost its roster to as high as 70 inspectors, using an additional $2.8 million — paid for through inspection fees — for the hires, according to an analysis last year by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Senate, Baker at odds over how to help low-income workers

Boston Globe, May 27, 2015

Across the country, more than one of every five households gets money through the EITC. That includes more than 400,000 tax filers in Massachusetts, according to an analysis by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Bay State losing ground as national leader: Editorial

Springfield Republican, May 25, 2015

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 16 percent of children age out of the child welfare system without a permanent family, compared to 10 percent nationally. Seventeen percent are placed in group homes, as opposed to 14 percent nationally, and the state also trails in placing children with relatives.

MA Lags in “Family Placement” for Kids in Child Welfare

Public News Service, May 19, 2015

Noah Berger, president with the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, says there is significant room for improvement when it comes to kinship care. "When a child needs to be taken out of their home, it can often be an advantage for that child to be placed with a grandparent or an aunt," says Berger. "Massachusetts is doing more of that but we still lag behind the national average in terms of how many kids get to those kin placements."

Report: Massachusetts trails in placing foster children with families

Springfield Republican, May 19, 2015

A new report released Tuesday finds that Massachusetts trails the national average when it comes to placing foster children with families.

Senate votes to increase state’s earned income tax credit

Boston Globe, May 19, 2015

An analysis by the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center shows the mix of tax changes approved by the state Senate — freezing the income tax, increasing the earned income tax credit, and bumping up the personal exemptions — would have a relatively modest impact on most taxpayers when compared with the alternative: allowing the state income tax rate to decline, as expected, from 5.15 to 5.1 percent next year under a formula designed to eventually bring the rate down to 5 percent.

Mass. early retirement push: Fears voiced about lack of experienced workers

Worcester Telegram & Gazette, May 16, 2015

Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said the problem is not just the number of qualified people leaving, but the fact they're all leaving at once creating a jolt to the system. "There is a danger of brain drain," Berger said. "If we have four or five thousand people leave rapidly there's a danger that a lot of those people may have skills and expertise that are difficult to replace."

Momentum grows for doubling of earned income credit

Brockton Enterprise, May 10, 2015

“Doubling the state Earned Income Tax Credit could raise incomes of some low-income working families by $900 per year,” said Noah Berger, executive director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “Money could be used for basic necessities such as rent, food and taking care of kids, or it could be used for things like after-school programs.”

Lewis, Berger talk budget at Memorial Hall

Melrose Free Press, May 10, 2015

“If you think of how much income is created in Massachusetts, we have to think about how much of that we’ll spend on state services,” Berger said. “Taxes comes out to about 10 percent of our income. That’s pretty close to the national average. It’s a bit surprising because people think of us as ‘Taxachusetts.’”

Report: Reducing Class Sizes To 15 Could Boost School Achievement

WBUR Learning Lab, May 6, 2015

“What we see in looking at states that have reduced class sizes is that if you do it right — that is if you can get class sizes in the early grades down to about 15 students with well qualified teachers — it can have very significant effect in improving student learning,” Noah Berger, president of MassBudget, said.

State clears way for 5,000 workers to retire early Some fear move may hurt services

Boston Globe, May 5, 2015

Noah Berger, president of the liberal-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said early retirement backers hope the state will be able to deliver the same quality of services with fewer people. But, “the question is whether the personnel loss will lead to things like shorter hours at our state pools and longer lines at the Registry” of Motor Vehicles.

Where in Mass. are people most likely to claim workers' tax credit?

Springfield Republican, May 1, 2015

Typically, between 415,000 and 430,000 Massachusetts residents claim the credit each year. The state credit gives a maximum of $936 a year. It applies to families earning up to $52,400 annually for a married couple with three children, with lower income levels for smaller household sizes.

Massachusetts AG Maura Healey files draft regulations to implement Earned Sick Time Law

Springfield Republican, April 27, 2015

It has been estimated by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a research group, that 40 percent of workers in Springfield have no earned paid sick leave, with some 54 percent of workers earning less than $35,000 statewide having no earned paid sick leave.

House leaders target education, transportation, local aid

South Coast Today, April 26, 2015

“The House Ways and Means budget proposal has some good news for young children and their families: it provides a small increase for early education and care and it rejects the governor’s proposal to eliminate kindergarten expansion grants,” Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center executive director Noah Berger said in a statement. “Like the governor’s proposal, however, it provides mostly short-term solutions to long-term problems.”

Similarities, and key differences between House, Baker budgets

The Berkshire Eagle, April 15, 2015

Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said he was similarly pleased to see increases in education funding, especially to help move over 800 children off the waiting list for early education programs. Berger, however, said the bill provides only "short-term solutions to long-term problems" by diverting some capital gains taxes away from reserves to support spending and by pushing off major MassHealth expenses into fiscal 2017.

$38 billion budget plan released by Massachusetts House committee

Springfield Republican, April 15, 2015

Noah Berger, president of the liberal-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said the proposal "has some good news for young children and their families" through the restoration of money to fund kindergarten expansion grants. But Berger criticized the House committee for adopting a proposal that Baker made to use capital gains tax revenue that would otherwise have gone into the rainy day fund.

Wage growth staggering behind economy’s growth

WWLP News Channel 20, April 14, 2015

TV segment on the minimum wage in Massachusetts, citing MassBudget data.

Rainy day fund taking hits: Is it really raining?

Commonwealth Magazine, April 14, 2015

Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a nonprofit that examines how budget and tax policies affect low and moderate income people, says state officials need to either boost the state’s revenues or cut spending.

House members back film credit: Dispute is their first with Baker

Boston Globe, April 3, 2015

"Lawmakers say there is no organized opposition to the film tax credit to serve as a counterweight to the industry. But they note that Massachusetts think tanks across the ideological spectrum, from the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center to the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, have been critical of the program."

Reel trouble: Film industry fights Baker's plan to scrap tax credit

The Salem News, March 31, 2015

"There is no evidence the tax credit can develop a permanent film production industry in the state, one that is not dependent on large tax subsidies to survive,” the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Budget Center, a think tank, said in recent report on the tax subsidy. “What is certain is that the high cost of the tax credit limits our ability to invest in other programs with proven track records to build more broadly-shared prosperity in the state.”

State employee retirement incentive could cause exodus in revenue, welfare, transportation, mental health agencies

Springfield Republican, March 27, 2015

Berger said the loss of auditors at the Department of Revenue would make it harder to identify tax evasion and capture revenue.

Baker’s budget plan shifts Medicaid payments

Boston Globe, March 6, 2015

Noah Berger, president of the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said he sees in Baker’s budget “a postponement of really addressing the long-term challenges. In Medicaid, we see significant shifting of costs from” the new fiscal year to the one that begins in July 2016. That, he said, “has the positive effect of avoiding painful cuts that could have long-term negative effects on the Commonwealth this year, but mean that we will continue to face real challenges in the years ahead.”

Working under the weather: Boston low-wage laborers beaten down by winter

Al Jazeera America, March 6, 2015

“Over a long period of time, the state has chronically underfunded our public transportation system so that trains get older and older and systems break down when we have bad weather,” said Noah Berger, the executive director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Proposal to end Massachusetts film tax credit provokes strong reactions

Boston Globe, March 5, 2015

“Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit is a very good use of those funds. That’s something that directly raises the wages of 400,000 people in Massachusetts,” said Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “Paying a star’s salary isn’t a very good way of helping the Massachusetts economy.”

Charlie Baker: Massachusetts budget proposal 'right-sizes' government while investing in priorities like transportation

Springfield Republican/MassLive, March 4, 2015

"The budget doesn't make significant new investments in those areas," Berger said. "It doesn't do anything to expand early education and care. It doesn't do anything to make higher education more affordable. Spending on public transportation is way below what everyone knows it would take to fix our public transportation system."

Gov. Baker Proposes Eliminating Film Tax Credit

WBUR, March 4, 2015

“It strengthens the economy because the money that we provide to those low-wage working people they spend right in the local community,” Berger said. “And I think this is a good example of looking at how we’re spending our economic development resources and saying, is there a better way of spending $80 million than subsidizing Hollywood movie producers?”

Gov. Baker Unveils $38B Budget Plan for Mass.

NECN, March 4, 2015

Quote from Noah Berger on NECN

Gov. Baker unveils $38B state budget plan

WCVB Channel 5, March 4, 2015

Quote from Noah Berger on WCVB Channel 5

End Mass. film tax credit

Boston Globe, March 3, 2015

Mass. budget shortfall could hit $1.5 billion

Boston Globe, February 25, 2015

More Accurate Poverty Measure for MA and Nation

Public News Service, February 25, 2015

Welfare reform major test for Rosenberg’s Senate leadership

Daily Hampshire Gazette, February 24, 2015

It’s Time to Address Homelessness

The Daily Free Press, February 20, 2015

Tax cuts that continue to haunt Mass

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.

Look at what the state is doing right

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.