Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Early Ed. in the Governor's budget + Globe Op-Ed

MassBudget    Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center    Democracy.
Early Ed. & Care in the Governor's Budget
Quality Early Education & Care can help prepare children for success in school and in life, and it provides parents the flexibility they need to seek and keep jobs. MassBudget's new brief, Early Education & Care in the Governor's FY 2014 Budget, analyzes the Governor's proposals for early education and child care. These include:

  • A 22% increase in funding for access to child care, as part of an effort to clear the current wait list

  • An expansion of education funding for pre-K students

  • New programs to train teachers and improve quality

Early Education & Care in the Governor's FY 2014 Budget is the first in a series of briefs that will explore, in greater detail, important issues in the Governor's proposal.

MassBudget Op-Ed in the Globe

In an Op-Ed in Today's Boston Globe, MassBudget President Noah Berger describes how the tax cuts of 1998-2002 have limited our ability to invest in our children, our communities, and the future of our economy.
"Tax policy debates are about how we pay for the things we do together for our communities, our families, and our economy. Working together through government allows us to accomplish things that are vital to us as a Commonwealth and that we can't do alone. This includes the roads, subways, and buses that help us get around and allow our economy to function; the schools that educate our children and strengthen our future workforce; the police and fire protection that keep our neighborhoods safe; the environmental safeguards that maintain our clean air and water; and the safety net that protects us when we fall on hard times.

About 15 years ago, at the height of the dot-com bubble, our state made tax policy choices that have shaped state policy ever since. At the time, our economy was so strong that it seemed we could cut taxes dramatically with no consequences. The state enacted a series of cuts to the income tax that are now costing us close to $3 billion a year. We cut the tax rate on most income from 5.95 percent to 5.3 percent, costing over $1.5 billion. We cut the tax rate on dividends and interest from 12 percent to 5.3 percent, costing about $850 million. We increased the personal deduction to $4,400, costing $550 million."

Mass. Business Taxes

MassBudget has updated our factsheet on statewide business taxes, How do Massachusetts Business Taxes Compare to Other States. When business are deciding where to locate or expand, they look at a range of factors: infrastructure, quality of the local workforce, available markets, and sometimes tax levels. Looking just at taxes, one prominent study--produced regularly by the Council on State Taxation (COST)--finds that overall state and local business taxes in Massachusetts are well below average.

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

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