Massachusetts municipalities generate the bulk of their revenue from local taxes, primarily property taxes. Tax revenue is spent on a variety of community needs including:
- Road and bridge construction
- Public safety
- Sewers and water
In 2016, the 10 towns with the highest local taxes per capita had all been within the top 20 towns since 2000, according to MassAnalysis. The towns with the highest local taxes per capita remained steady over the previous 16 years. All had less than a 20 percent increase.
The amount of revenue local municipalities have to generate largely depends on how much state aid they receive. Overall, the ten towns with the highest local income taxes per capita receive very little state aid. These municipalities saw minimal change in how much state aid they received over 16 years. All except Weston had less than a 20 percent fluctuation in the amount of state aid they received over that time. Below you can see how much each town received in state aid each year from 2000 to 2016.
So what are these towns spending their money on? Below are the top three expenditures for each town in 2016.
To find out where your town falls on this list and how taxpayer money is being spent be sure to regularly check MassAnalysis.
Madeleine Cammarano is a Roger Perry Transparency Intern for Pioneer and recently graduated from the University of New Hampshire at Durham with a degree in political science.