Publications: Taxes

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  • February 12 2018

    If the surtax passes, Massachusetts would have one of the highest tax rates in the nation on income over $1 million. And that may understate the upcoming shockwave to high-earners. Since SALT deductions are now capped at $10,000, the effective state income tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million would soar to 9 percent from 3 percent – a remarkable 300 percent escalation. Given the state’s persistent out-migration issues absent a massive tax hike, the state is rapidly entering uncharted territory with no ability to mitigate the damage for years.

  • December 10 2017
    Plaintiffs bring this lawsuit to exclude from the 2018 ballot an initiative petition that threatens to undermine our representative system of government and our separation of powers, and the long-standing consensus that the Legislature must maintain ultimate control over public finances. Petition No. 15-17 (the “Challenged Initiative”) would amend the Constitution to mandate a 4% surtax on all incomes above a specified level, with the revenue collected earmarked “only” for education and transportation spending. The Initiative is truly radical: Our Constitution never has mandated that a specific tax be imposed – let alone that a specific tax rate be collected – and, in the century since Article 48 introduced the initiative petition process, the Court repeatedly has affirmed that initiative petitions cannot be used to embed spending earmarks in the Constitution.
  • October 12 2017
    I am writing today in support of House Bill 1510: An Act Relative to the Massachusetts Estate Tax Code. While the Foundation believes that the Massachusetts estate tax should mirror the federal estate tax, this bill would more closely align the Massachusetts estate tax with federal law, a great initial step to ensuring that the Commonwealth is not an outlier among its peer states.
  • June 12 2017

    At the next constitutional convention, legislators will vote on whether or not to approve the ballot initiative entitled “Massachusetts Income Tax for Education and Transportation Amendment” more commonly referred to as the millionaire’s tax. MTF has several serious concerns with this ballot initiative – a proposal that we see as not only unlikely to deliver on its promises, but also posing a serious threat to the fiscal stability and economic well-being of the Commonwealth.

  • October 13 2016
  • March 8 2016

    Last fall, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation released a Stabilization Fund report that drew attention to the risks the state runs by failing to rebuild “rainy day” reserves during times of economic recovery. This companion brief explores how reliance on capital gains tax revenues in the operating budget both increases the dangers posed by a fiscal crisis and weakens our ability to respond to one.