Entries by Will Kauppila

Income and Education Levels in Gateway Cities Well Below State Average as Debate over Chapter 70 Aid Formula Heats Up

Data from Pioneer’s online transparency toolset, MassAnalysis.com, shows that the Gateway Cities have some of the lowest per-capita incomes in the Commonwealth, according to the most recent data from 2017. Education and income levels are intrinsically tied, and not surprisingly, high school graduation rates in the Gateway Cities lag well behind the rest of the […]

2,098 Mass. VA Employees Made $100,000 or More in 2017

According to the online transparency tool OpentheBooks, there were 7,816 Department of Veterans Affairs employees in Massachusetts in 2017. Remarkably, 2,098 of these, made six-figure incomes. Fifty-one administrators and doctors made more than $300,000 and 364 made more than $200,000. Salaries may be sky high, but there have been many complaints about the quality of […]

Gateway Cities Face Educational Spending Challenges

As the Boston Globe recently reported, Gateway Cities Brockton and Worcester are mulling a lawsuit against the Commonwealth. They cite the methodology the state uses to address funding aid inequity for public schools in poorer municipalities as insufficient to meet their students’ needs. The article also demonstrated the wide gap between public school resources available […]

The Link Between Police Spending and Crime in Gateway Cities

Massachusetts “Gateway Cities” were defined in a 2007 Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC) and Brookings Institution report as midsize cities throughout the Commonwealth that historically had strong economies centered around manufacturing, but have since struggled with unemployment, crime rates, educational performance, and property values as a result of shifting economic trends. The original […]

Town Residents Clash with Developers over Chapter 40B Housing Law

M.G.L. Chapter 40B, Sections 20 through 23, (commonly referred as Chapter 40B) is a Massachusetts law that has been on the books since 1969. The law permits developers to override local zoning laws, and move forward with construction when they include subsidized units in their developments in municipalities where less than 10 percent of available […]

Could Bus Rapid Transit Be the Future of Public Transportation in Boston?

As the Greater Boston Area continues to grow, it is important to plan future public transportation infrastructure to keep up with increased demand. In determining its vision for transit in the future, the MBTA has given careful consideration to new forms of transit that meet the demands of today’s commuters. One mode of transit that’s […]

Newly Proposed Theater Tax Credit All-Too Familiar

As Pioneer reported earlier this summer, there have been questions surrounding the viability of incentives provided by the Massachusetts film tax credit since its inception in 2006. It was adopted to attract motion picture production companies by offering them generous tax breaks for filming on location around the state. In exchange, the companies are expected […]

Behind the Glitz & Glamour: Are Massachusetts Film Tax Credits worth the Investment?

Massachusetts currently offers 14 different tax credits available to qualifying entities. Each incentive is subject to different awards and issuance processes based on the discretion of the state agency that oversees issuance. A tax credit is refundable for an entity who earns more in tax credits than it owes in taxes, which means that Massachusetts […]