Entries by Eileen McAnneny

Commentary On The Senate Ways And Means Committee FY2025 Budget 

The Senate Ways and Means Committee (SWM) released its FY2025 budget on May 7th.  This spending plan totals $57.9 billion, an increase of $1.8 billion over the FY2024 General Appropriations Act (GAA).  Like the Governor’s and House’s versions of the budget, the SWM budget is based on the consensus revenue estimate of $41.5 billion in tax revenue – a decrease of $208 million from last year’s consensus figure.

Statement: Pioneer Institute in Support of Accessory Dwelling Units

Pioneer Institute Statement in Support of Accessory Dwelling Units May 2, 2024 BOSTON – This Wednesday, the Boston Globe editorial board endorsed the accessory dwelling units (ADUs) provision in Governor Healey’s Affordable Homes Act, her $4.1 billion housing bond bill.  Pioneer Institute has long championed ADUs as a potentially important piece in the policy puzzle of how Massachusetts can provide sufficient supply to attract and retain a high-quality talent pipeline. In addition to opinion pieces and media appearances, the Institute’s work on the issue is grounded in data-driven research, including Getting Home: Overcoming barriers to Housing in Greater Boston (2003), Residential Land-Use Regulation in Eastern Massachusetts: A Study of 187 Communities (2005), Housing and Land use policy in Massachusetts (2007), […]

Outmigration and the Labor Force

Boston University researchers just released new demographic and financial outmigration data that is cause for concern about recent trends in the Massachusetts labor force.  Among the key facts from the BU research are: In the last decade, annual net out migration has increased by a stunning 1,100 percent to 39,000 people.   There is a growing exodus of prime-age workers (24 to 54)  High wage earners are leaving Massachusetts, too. The incomes of over half of those leaving the state range from 1.3 to over 2.6 times the state average. Wealth and tax revenue collections are leaving with them. The report of Prof. Mark Williams and graduate students Yuhan Liu and Linglan Xu at the Questrom School of Business builds on […]

Mayor Wu’s Commercial Property Tax Proposal: A Solution or a Snuff?

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu is considering shifting more of the property tax burden onto commercial property owners as a way to close a potential budget gap of $1.4 billion by temporarily increasing the commercial property tax rate to 200 percent of the residential rate.  To do this, Mayor Wu would seek approval from the City Council and state legislature to allow Boston to temporarily exceed the 175 percent shift cap allowed by state law.  It would then be phased out over a four-year period by reducing the rate by 7.5 percent annually. When initially introduced, this local option higher property tax rate cap was intended to protect residential property owners from double-digit tax rate increases stemming from the steep rise […]

Milton Shuts the Door
on Multifamily Housing Plans

The MBTA Communities Act, passed in 2021, provides that the 177 communities serviced by the MBTA must create multifamily zones to spur housing development close to public transportation. But the issue is an emotionally charged one, with passions high on both sides. And Milton residents in February rejected a plan to create such housing ‚ choosing a loss of some state funding over an approximately 25 percent increase in their housing stock, along with the possibility of greater congestion.

My Musings on Massachusetts’ Fiscal Picture

Since the start of FY2024 on July 1, 2023, the state has experienced six straight months of revenues falling short of expectations. The single biggest factor is the unprecedented growth of the state budget since FY2021. The $15 billion increase in state spending contextualizes the seemingly modest projected revenue growth of 1.6 percent for FY2024 by highlighting that the base is very inflated.

Massachusetts Split Property Tax Rates – Considerations for the Current Economic Climate

Many taxing jurisdictions distinguish among the various property types and treat them differently. Common property classifications include: residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural.

A majority of states, some 60 percent, use some kind of classification, but those classifications vary in scope and effective tax burden (i.e., the actual amount of tax paid after credits, deductions and other changes are taken into account.) Classifications are also operationalized differently among states. Some use a set rate for different types of properties and others use a ratio of assessment and market values.

Senate Tax Package Misses the Mark on Competitiveness

The Senate tax package, S.2397, is heavy on provisions that reduce the tax burden for certain taxpayers, thereby helping those that qualify for the expanded credits and deductions. The bill, however, is light on provisions that will improve the Commonwealth’s competitiveness.

Gov. Healey’s Tax Plan: Not Enough on Competitiveness

In an effort to deliver “an affordable, equitable and competitive tax structure for Massachusetts,” Governor Maura Healey on Feb. 28 unveiled her tax package. While her proposal makes significant strides in addressing affordability and indirectly improves equity, it does little to address the issues of competitiveness.