Thursday, May 14, 2015

MassBudget: Analyzing the SWM Budget for FY 2016

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Analyzing the Senate Ways & Means Budget for FY 2016

Yesterday, the Senate Ways and Means Committee (SWM) released its budget proposal for FY 2016, modestly increasing education programs above levels in the Governor's and House budgets (read our full Budget Monitor HERE). The SWM proposal follows the Governor and the House in increasing funding to fight substance abuse and in modestly increasing local aid. The budget also provides new funding to the Department of Revenue that will strengthen its capacity to ensure that companies pursuing complex tax evasion strategies pay their fair share. 

Like proposals by the Governor and the House, the SWM budget relies heavily on temporary strategies to balance the budget:

The budget proposals by the Governor, the House, and the Senate are all shaped by fiscal challenges that date back to the late 1990s: after cutting the income tax by over $3 billion dollars between 1998 and 2002 we have experienced deep cuts in areas like higher education, local aid, and public health. Meanwhile, the highest income residents in the Commonwealth pay a substantially smaller share of their income in state and local taxes than do the other 99%. If the tax system were reformed so that the highest income 1% of taxpayers paid roughly the same share of their income in taxes as everyone else, that would raise about $2 billion that could be invested in our people, our communities and our economy.

For our full analysis of the Senate Ways & Means proposal, please click HERE
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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