To help close a mid-year budget gap, the Governor has proposed a 1% cut to General Local Aid, a program that provides money to cities and towns for police and fire protection, parks, and other vital local services.
On its own, that is a relatively small part of the Governor's broader cuts. But funding for General Local Aid is already at its lowest point in over three decades. Like so many other programs in the state budget, it has been squeezed by the large revenue shortfalls that followed the income tax cuts of the late 90s.
MassBudget's new report, "The Rise and Fall of Local Aid in Massachusetts" finds that:
An accompanying interactive tool allows you to track changes in General Local Aid for each city and town in Massachusetts.
In addition to this report on Local Aid, MassBudget is also releasing its annual assessment of education funding in Massachusetts, "Public School Funding in Massachusetts: Where We Are, What Has Changed, and How We Compare to Other States."
Using the latest Census data on state-by-state education spending, we find that: