Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual update of State and Local Government Finances, providing national data for Fiscal Year 2009. The amount of state and local taxes paid in Massachusetts as a share of total personal income was 9.8 percent in FY 2009. By this measure, Massachusetts had lower taxes than 32 other states. Measuring taxes as a share of total personal income allows for a meaningful comparison among states.
Taxes are the amount that each resident pays toward--and the primary source of funding for--everything the people of a state choose to provide together through government, such as: public education; police and fire protection; roads, bridges and other infrastructure; environmental protection, parks, playgrounds, libraries; and a safety net to protect access to health care and other supports families depend on--particularly when they are faced with acute challenges.
The fact sheet Massachusetts Ranks 33rd in Taxes in FY 2009 is available here.
MassBudget provides independent research and analysis of state budget and tax policies, as well as economic issues, with particular attention to the effects on low- and moderate-income people.