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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.
May 9, 2024/by Eileen McAnneny

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.
February 15, 2024/by Eileen McAnneny

Pioneer Statement on Continuing Slide in Massachusetts’ Revenue

The Commonwealth’s tax collections continue to slide, totaling $3.594 billion in January, $268 million below what the state collected in January 2023, and short of the revised benchmark by $263 million. Massachusetts state government must live within its means by reducing FY2025 spending. The days of fiscal surpluses, unprecedented increases in year-over-year spending, and flowing federal aid have come to an end.
February 6, 2024/by Editorial Staff

Pioneer Statement on Decline in State Revenues

The Commonwealth’s finances have stumbled hard in recent months, and based on a report the Department of Revenue (DOR) sent to the Legislature in January, the trend shows no signs of easing. Massachusetts needs a renewed emphasis on fiscal discipline and pro-growth policies to make the state economically competitive again.
January 31, 2024/by Editorial Staff

Skill-based immigration could ease labor shortage

A recent Biden administration executive order that amends the Schedule A list, which identifies occupations experiencing labor shortages and allows immigrants in those occupations to expedite their employment in the U.S., could positively impact the hiring of skilled international workers for years to come — a welcome development as the country and Massachusetts struggle to attract talent amidst a worsening labor shortage.
January 29, 2024/by Aidan Enright

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.
January 11, 2024/by Eileen McAnneny

The Massachusetts Workforce: Abundant Resources, Steep Challenges

Massachusetts features a strong workforce training system with abundant resources yet faces challenges in matching jobs and applicants, training youth, and attracting sufficient numbers of skilled immigrants, according to a pair of studies from Pioneer Institute.
December 4, 2023/by Editorial Staff

Statement on Massachusetts Falling from 34th to 46th on Tax Foundation’s 2024 Business Tax Climate Index

Massachusetts policymakers should pay close attention to the latest evidence of the Commonwealth’s declining competitiveness. Last week, the Tax Foundation published its 2024 State Business Tax Climate Index, which showed Massachusetts’ ranking falling more than any other state, from 34th to 46th.
October 30, 2023/by Editorial Staff

Pioneer Institute Statement on the State Legislature’s FY2024 Tax Relief Package

The recent advancement of a tax bill H. 4104, that is expected to be enacted by the Legislature this week after languishing for more than 20 months, puts Massachusetts taxpayers one step closer to realizing some tax relief. However, it may be too little to tackle the Commonwealth’s affordability and competitiveness challenges.
September 29, 2023/by Editorial Staff

Poll: MA Voters Oppose Legislative Proposals to Change Tax Rebate Law

A strong majority of registered Massachusetts voters oppose a plan recently announced by state legislative leaders that would change the way tax rebates are distributed in Massachusetts under a state law approved by voters in 1986, according to a new poll sponsored by Pioneer Institute and the Massachusetts High Technology Council.
September 28, 2023/by Editorial Staff

Harsh Tax Policies in NY Make MA Seem Palatable as Some Residents Look to Relocate

While many Massachusetts residents relocated to either New Hampshire or Florida in 2021, a considerable amount of New Yorkers migrated into Massachusetts. Their motivation to relocate seems largely tied to the harsh taxes in New York, which surpass the rates in Massachusetts.
July 26, 2023/by Sarah Delano

Massachusetts’ “Stinger” Tax, Explained

Massachusetts recognizes S Corporations as flow-through entities. However, it levies an additional "stinger" tax on shareholders of these types of entities, depending on their revenue and industry. The state should reform S Corporation tax policy because the current system is uncompetitive and nonneutral. And, in addition to the new surtax on earnings over $1 million, the stinger tax could make business owners consider relocating, which would take revenue and surtax from the state.
July 26, 2023/by Sarah Delano

Changes to the Confounding Massachusetts Estate Tax

Policymakers on Beacon Hill have many visions of tax relief for this fiscal year, and all of them include changing the estate taxes. What are those changes, and what would their impact be?
July 26, 2023/by Peter Mentekidis

An Examination of the Commonwealth Rainy Day Fund

Established in 1987, the Commonwealth Stabilization Fund has been a key component of the financial stability of Massachusetts. As of recently, it's seen spectacular growth. Why?
July 25, 2023/by Peter Mentekidis

GDP by Industry: Middlesex County v. Suffolk County

Middlesex and Suffolk counties have contributed far more to the state's GDP than any other county in Massachusetts. However, the two differ in which industries are responsible for the greatest shares of their GDP.
July 18, 2023/by Sarah Delano

The Curious Case of the Missing Stabilization Funds

Stabilization funds are a key component of a municipality's financial strength, yet many towns (including Boston!) report no stabilization funds. Why is this?
July 18, 2023/by Peter Mentekidis

HDIP: Unintended Consequences Adding to the Housing Crisis

See how the HDIP affected the state's housing crisis. Housing prices in Gateway Cities, such as Chelsea, Revere, Everett, and Lawrence, are skyrocketing.
July 13, 2023/by Teddy Wynn

Large Free Cash Fund in Woburn Demonstrates Quality Financial Management

Woburn has consistently had quality financial management in recent years, demonstrated by the fact that the city had the third highest free cash fund in the state in 2020. The city’s financial success has benefited its taxpayers, as the city’s bond rating has been promoted to a AAA rating by the S&P agency standards.
July 13, 2023/by Sarah Delano

PFML v. FMLA: To Pay or Not to Pay Leave-Takers

Congress passed the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993 to ensure citizens’ job security should they need to take an extended leave, but it did not require any replacement wages to be paid for that time period. Then, Massachusetts passed their Paid Family and Medical Leave law in 2018 which set out requirements for employer and employee contributions to a PFML fund so that employees could get paid in addition to keeping their jobs should they need to take leave for certain reasons.
June 22, 2023/by Sarah Delano

Online Sports Betting as a Form of Tax Revenue

The legalization of sports betting in Massachusetts has been successful so far in terms of bringing in tax revenue. Although there's a chance for a dip in volume this summer, it will continue to be a strong source of revenue for the commonwealth.
June 22, 2023/by Teddy Wynn

A Tale of Two Massachusetts: Wealth and Labor Differences Between East and West

This blog compares the income, wealth, and property values of western Massachusetts to those of eastern Massachusetts, highlighting the west's potential for growth.
June 15, 2023/by Peter Mentekidis