Showing posts with label Tax revenue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tax revenue. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

CommonWealth Magazine: State revenue exceeds projection again; Committee on reimagining the post-COVID commonwealth begins work


"THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE collected more than $3 billion from Massachusetts residents, workers, and businesses last month, once again shattering the Baker administration’s expectations and putting the state’s coffers more than $1.5 billion ahead of where they were at the same time last year.

Revenue collections for March added up to a total of $3.061 billion — $402 million, or 15.1 percent, more than what was collected in March 2020 and $648 million or 26.8 percent more than what the Baker administration was expecting to collect last month.

Now nine months through fiscal year 2021, Massachusetts state government has collected $22.588 billion in taxes from people and businesses, which is $1.524 billion, or 7.2 percent, more than it did during the same nine mostly pre-pandemic months of fiscal year 2020. The last month Massachusetts saw a year-over-year decline in tax collections was September."

Continue reading the article online
"WHEN SEN. ADAM HINDS looks at the disproportionate toll COVID-19 has taken on poor people and communities of color in Massachusetts, he said, “It’s hard not to experience it as a massive policy failure.”

Hinds, a Pittsfield Democrat who now chairs a special Senate Committee on Reimagining Massachusetts Post-Pandemic Resiliency, said inequity will be a major focus of the committee as it has broad discussions on how to rebuild a stronger state in the wake of the COVID-19 emergency.

“It would be a dereliction of duty if we didn’t do everything in our power to correct the inequities that led to more death in certain communities,” Hinds said."
Continue reading the article online

Friday, March 26, 2021

MA State News: wind energy and commission report on special taxes

Mariano pledges to turn South Coast into ‘hub of wind energy’ 

"MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE SPEAKER Ron Mariano on Thursday pledged to make major investments to turn the South Coast into “a hub of wind energy for the region.” 

Mariano, in a virtual speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, envisioned using the nascent offshore wind energy industry as a way to create jobs in Massachusetts while positioning the state to be a leader in a growing field."

Continue reading the article online

Commission raises flags on film, alcohol, Fidelity tax breaks
"A COMMISSION ESTABLISHED to review the effectiveness of special tax breaks issued by the state of Massachusetts raised serious concerns in its initial report about measures benefitting the film, alcohol, and mutual fund industries.

The Tax Expenditure Review Commission, in a first-of-its-kind report, tried to rate the effectiveness of 26 of the more than 200 tax breaks that in some cases have been on the state’s books for decades and never been subjected to any scrutiny even though they represent billions of dollars in foregone revenue."
Continue reading the article online

Thursday, March 4, 2021

"6.1 percent more than it did during the same eight pre-pandemic months of fiscal year 2020"


"TAX COLLECTIONS exceeded the Baker administration’s expectations by $372 million in February and surpassed the total of collections in February 2020, a development that positions the state to end this budget year having collected more tax revenue than it did last year.

The Department of Revenue said it collected $1.874 billion in taxes last month, $359 million, or 23.7 percent, more than what was collected in February 2020 and $372 million or 24.8 percent more than what the department had been expecting."

Continue reading the article online

Given this is one of the key factors that Senate President Karen Spilka referenced during the Legislative Forum on Tuesday, this is good news.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Washington Post: What is "the future of transportation funding?"

"Bruce Starr spotted the problem right away: The hydrogen-powered cars General Motors was showing off on the Oregon Capitol grounds wouldn’t need gas. And if they didn’t need gas, drivers wouldn’t be paying gas taxes that fund the state’s roads.

It was 2001, and the problem seemed urgent. GM predicted the cars would be on the market in a few years. Starr, then a Republican state representative, created a task force to figure out the future of transportation funding."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Thursday, February 4, 2021

CommonWealth Magazine: "State tax collections continue to surprise"

"JANUARY TAX COLLECTIONS  obliterated the Baker administration’s expectations, coming in almost a half-billion dollars above the Department of Revenue’s already-upgraded monthly benchmark and helping to brighten the state’s financial picture heading into a fresh round of budget deliberations.

DOR collected $3.347 billion from taxpayers last month, which is $392 million, or 13.3 percent, greater than what the state collected in January 2020 and $429 million, or 14.7 percent, above DOR’s benchmark for the month, which had already been boosted by $180 million from an earlier estimate.

“January revenue included increases in withholding, income estimated payments, regular sales tax, and ‘all other tax,’ as well as a decrease in meals tax,” Revenue Commissioner Geoffrey Snyder said. “The increase in withholding is likely related to unemployment insurance benefits and bonus related payments, and income estimated payments were strong likely because of 2020 investment-related income gains. The increase in ‘all other tax’ is primarily attributable to estate taxes, a category that tends to fluctuate.”

Continue reading the article online

Thursday, January 7, 2021

CommonWealth Magazine: status of bills on Gov Baker's desk; MA tax revenue remains resilient; MA House, Senate leaders chosen

Lots of bills land on Baker’s desk

"IN THE EARLY HOURS of Wednesday morning, the Massachusetts Legislature wrapped up its two-year session with a flurry of last-minute lawmaking that didn’t end until 4:41 a.m.

Major compromise bills on transportation and economic development emerged from conference committees after midnight and were swiftly passed. The transportation bill included new state fees on rides provided by ride-hailing apps. Some bills that had been stalled for months were also passed, while others were left on the drawing room floor."
Continue reading the article online
Mass. tax revenues continue resilient run
"MASSACHUSETTS TAX REVENUES continued to be remarkably resilient in December, as collections were up 8.8 percent over the same pre-COVID month a year ago and up 2.7 percent in the first six months of the fiscal year.

Total collections in December were $2.8 billion, up $230 million over December 2019. December is typically the fifth largest revenue month of the year, bringing in 9.5 percent of the state’s annual revenues on average.

Collections for June through December 2020 were $14.3 billion, up 2.7 percent compared to the same six-month period a year ago when COVID-19 was not ravaging the economy. The $14.3 billion represents just over 50 percent of the $28.4 billion the state is forecasting to take in during fiscal 2021, which ends June 30."
Continue reading the article online

Mariano elected speaker again; Spilka, too

REP. RONALD MARIANO of Quincy was sworn in as House speaker on Wednesday promising honesty and straight talk, a leadership team that reflects the chamber’s diversity, and strong oversight of the state’s vaccine plan and COVID-19 recovery.

The latter pledge was notable only because  Mariano earlier in the week was asked how he thought the state’s vaccine rollout was going. “I have no idea,” he said, adding that he had just assumed the speaker’s position.

Mariano was elected speaker with 127 votes. House Minority Leader Bradley Jones Jr. received 30 votes from his fellow Republicans and two Democrats – Reps. Tami Gouveia of Acton and Erika Uyterhoeven of Somerville – voted present. Mariano won the speaker’s job by a similar margin last week – 126 votes in support, 31 for Jones (there is one less Republican this session), and three Democrats (Gouveia and two retiring lawmakers) who didn’t vote or voted present.
Continue reading the article online

Thursday, November 5, 2020

CommonWealth Magazine: Judge Dalila Argaez Wendlandt nominated to SJC; State tax revenues up over last year

From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin:

"GOV. CHARLIE BAKER’S latest nominee to the Supreme Judicial Court is an Appeals Court judge with a background in intellectual property litigation who built a robot while studying engineering at MIT.

Justice Dalila Argaez Wendlandt spoke to reporters after Gov. Charlie Baker introduced her as his latest pick for the Supreme Judicial Court. [Matthew J. Lee/Boston Globe/Pool]

Judge Dalila Argaez Wendlandt, if confirmed to the post by the Governor’s Council, would be the first Latina to serve on the state’s high court.

“The daughter of immigrants from Colombia, Justice Wendlandt will bring her voice to our highest court, a voice we need now more than ever,” Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said at an election day press conference at the State House where she and Baker introduced Wendlandt. “She has served as a mentor for women and girls throughout her career and the impact she would make in this new position, for young girls to see the first Latina woman serving on our highest court in the commonwealth, is profound.”


NOW PARTWAY into the second quarter of a fiscal year that budget managers expect will generate between 4 percent and 12 percent less tax revenue for the state than the last, collections are still running more than 1 percent ahead of their fiscal year 2020 pace, the Department of Revenue said Wednesday.

DOR collected $2.089 billion from Massachusetts taxpayers in October, $62 million, or 3.1 percent, more than what was collected in October 2019, the agency said. October’s tax haul is among the smallest of the calendar year and DOR said the month typically generates about 6.5 percent of the state’s annual revenue.

“October revenue was driven mostly by increases in withholding, non-withheld income tax, and regular sales tax. These increases were partly offset by decreases in meals tax, and ‘All Other’ tax,” Revenue Commissioner Geoffrey Snyder said. “An increase in individual return payments, combined with a decrease in refunds, resulted in growth in non-withheld income tax in October. The moderate withholding increase reflects unemployment insurance benefits, one-time events, and timing factors.”

Continue reading article online

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Commonwealth Magazine: "Economists offer dire projections for state revenues"

From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin:

"STATE TAX REVENUES are likely to tank by between $1.2 and $3.6 billion this year compared to last year, amid significant uncertainty generated by the COVID-19 pandemic and by federal inaction, according to the state’s top revenue official. That represents a drop of as high as 12 percent year over year.

Compared to the amount lawmakers expected to have this year, before the pandemic hit, the drop is even greater – between $2.7 and $5.2 billion less than anticipated, a drop of between 8.9 and 16.8 percent.

The projections by Revenue Commissioner Geoffrey Snyder are slightly more pessimistic, but not too far out of line with, projections made by several outside experts, who testified Wednesday during a more than three-hour hearing on state revenues.  

The projections of multi-billion–dollar revenue drops come even as revenue for the first three months of this fiscal year has come in stronger than expected. But experts say the steady revenues early in the year were due primarily to federal money – like a temporary expansion of unemployment benefits – that has been drying up."

Continue reading the article online


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Commonwealth Magazine: "Despite pandemic, state tax revenues hold steady"

From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin: 

"DESPITE A PANDEMIC and record unemployment, Massachusetts tax revenues in August continued to hold fairly steady compared to last year.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue reported on Friday that an apples-to-apples comparison shows tax revenues in August 2020 were down only $7 million, or .4 percent, compared to the same month a year ago.

For July and August, the first two months of fiscal 2021, revenues were actually up by $124 million, or 3.1 percent, compared to the same period a year ago.

The apples-to-apples approach is required because the state’s tax filing date for 2019 was postponed from April 15 to July 15 this year because of COVID-19. That delay meant a lot of revenue that normally would have come into state coffers in fiscal 2020 actually arrived in fiscal 2021. The Revenue Department separated out what it considered fiscal 2020 money from fiscal 2021 money, yielding the apples-to-apples comparison."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
The golden dome of the State House. (Photo by Andy Metzger)
The golden dome of the State House. (Photo by Andy Metzger)

Friday, August 7, 2020

In the News: "July tax haul plugs some of state’s fiscal ’20 deficit"

 From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Massachusetts recorded $4.456 billion in tax collections in July, with just more than half of that money being counted toward the budget year that ended June 30 about $3 billion short of expectations.

The Department of Revenue said about $2.293 billion, or roughly 51% of July’s collections, came from income tax payments and refunds originally due in fiscal 2020 but received in the first month of fiscal 2021 because the Legislature and governor extended filing deadlines due to the pandemic.

About $2.163 billion in July revenue will be counted toward fiscal 2021, including an estimated $50 million in corporate and business taxes that were deferred from the spring when state waived penalties for late filing and payment, the DOR said. Once the numbers are adjusted for tax deferrals, tax collections last month were about $88 million or 4.3% higher than the equivalent tax collections in July 2019, the DOR said.

“July total collections were also boosted by corporate and business tax payments attributable to returns due in April, which will be recorded as FY21 revenue, following the waiver of late filing and payment penalties in connection with such returns,” Revenue Commissioner Geoffrey Snyder said. “Sales and use tax revenue also increased as compared to the same period in 2019, despite the deferral of certain regular sales, meals, and room tax payments from FY2020 to FY2021, which are due in September.”

 Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

In the News: Tax Free Weekend - Aug 29-30

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"The state’s 6.25% sales tax will be waived on many purchases the weekend of Saturday, Aug. 29 and Sunday, Aug. 30, the Baker administration announced Tuesday.

This summer’s sales tax holiday weekend will take place as retailers regain their footing after weeks of government-forced shutdowns, and Gov. Charlie Baker said he hopes people will take advantage of the tax savings to support local businesses.

“The annual sales tax holiday is an opportunity for us to support small businesses and consumers, and this year, it’s a great way to support our economy that’s been impacted by COVID-19,” the governor said. “This pandemic has created enormous challenges for the Commonwealth’s small businesses, and the sales tax-free weekend is one way that we can encourage more economic activity to help Main Street businesses and local economies.”

The annual tax holiday, made a permanent fixture as part of a 2018 “grand bargain” law addressing multiple topics, allows shoppers to avoid paying the tax on most retail items - excluding food and drink at restaurants - that cost less than $2,500. The state agrees to give up tens of millions of dollars in taxes in a bid to spur buying and consumer savings."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"We're pleased to announce that the annual #TaxFreeWeekend will take place August 29-30.

The #SalesTaxHoliday is a great way to support consumers and small businesses. This year it’s a great way to support our economy that’s been impacted by #COVID19MA"
Gov Baker's press release

Shared from Twitter:

In the News: Tax Free Weekend - Aug 29-30
In the News: Tax Free Weekend - Aug 29-30

Friday, April 3, 2020

MA Legislature Passes Bill to Provide Immediate Relief to Municipalities and Others During the Ongoing COVID-19 Crisis

Today (4/2/20), the House and Senate passed a bill to provide necessary relief to municipalities, taxpayers, restaurants, and state authorities impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and State of Emergency declaration.

The bipartisan legislation extends the state income tax filing deadline for residents; addresses disruptions in municipal tax collections and permitting; and allows licensed restaurants to sell certain alcoholic beverages with food take-out and delivery orders, among other provisions.

"I am heartened by the bipartisan and collaborative process that went into advancing this bill to help the hardworking people of Massachusetts," stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “Our cities and towns, restaurants and taxpayers need relief now more than ever, particularly as we continue to follow proper social distancing guidelines to curb the spread of COVID-19. I would like to thank my Senate colleagues, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and my legislative partners in the House for their work on this critical piece of legislation."

“Our communities, our small businesses, and our residents live the disruptive and compounding effects of this rapidly evolving public health crisis daily, so the Legislature acted again today to provide some relief,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D – Winthrop). “By easing local permitting measures, extending the state’s tax deadline, and providing restaurants an opportunity to increase revenue, we are helping cities and towns, businesses, and individuals throughout the Commonwealth. Thank you to Chair Michlewitz and Chair O’Day and Senate President Spilka and our colleagues in the Senate for their partnership on these important issues.”

“Whether it’s protecting local communities’ ability to govern during a time of crisis or providing much needed relief to restaurants and taxpayers, we must do what we can to support those facing hardship during this unprecedented time,” said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “With tonight’s passage of this bill, the Legislature is collaboratively acting to meet this challenge and confront the urgent needs facing our Commonwealth related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“By passing this relief package today, we are providing much needed administrative and economic relief for our small businesses, our cities and towns, and the taxpayers of the Commonwealth,” said Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means (D-Boston). “I know I speak for all my colleagues in the Legislature when I say we are prepared to offer all the assistance we can as we tackle the day to day effects of COVID-19.”

“This legislation responds to a number of vitally important needs; it allows cities and towns across the Commonwealth to execute fundamental governance procedures including budgeting and permitting, it adds mechanisms to empower food and beverage providers to meet consumer needs, and it aligns our tax schedule with the federal extension,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester). “It is the product of bicameral and bipartisan collaboration fueled by our ardent efforts to support those impacted by this pandemic.”

“The municipal relief bill passed by the Legislature and now on the Governor’s desk contains many important provisions for our communities, our taxpayers, and our restaurants,” stated House Minority Leader Representative Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “It is another step, in what will be many, that we need to take to navigate the state through these extraordinary times.”

The major provisions of the bill are as follows:

Tax Deadline Extension. The bill provides immediate relief to taxpayers and extends the 2019 state individual income tax filing and payment deadline from April 15 to July 15 due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The extension of the tax filing and payment deadline to July 15 is consistent with the federal government and provides additional flexibility to filers during this crisis.

Restaurant Service. The bill includes immediate economic relief to restaurants and other establishments that are licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption to sell wine and beer with food takeout and delivery. This change would restore a crucial source of revenue to restaurants and other food establishments.

Municipal Governance. This legislation also immediately addresses several challenges affecting municipal functions and operations during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. The bill:
  • Allows extensions for property tax exemption and deferrals from April 1 to June 1, 2020;
  • Modifies the permitting process to ensure flexibility for applicants and status hearing processes;
  • Allows annual town meeting to be delayed beyond June 30, 2020;
  • Enables a town moderator or person designated as such to reschedule town meetings for up to 30 days, and to do so multiple times if needed;
  • Permits municipalities to utilize retired employees and lifts pension-related hour restrictions for employees who return to work as it relates to COVID-19 response; and
  • Prohibits essential services provided by the city or town from being terminated as a result of a missed or late payment.
The bill also makes several adjustments to the municipal budgeting process so that cities and towns can continue to meet their fiduciary responsibility and provide resources for their residents.

The bill, which is the latest action by the Legislature to address the COVID-19 public health crisis and its effects on Massachusetts, now heads to the Governor.

MA Legislature Passes Bill to Provide Immediate Relief to Municipalities and Others During the Ongoing COVID-19 Crisis
MA Legislature Passes Bill to Provide Immediate Relief to Municipalities and Others During the Ongoing COVID-19 Crisis

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Tax Time Guide: Guard personal, financial and tax information year-round

The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers to remain vigilant with their personal information by securing computers and mobile phones. Proper cybersecurity protection and scam recognition can reduce the threat of identity theft inside and outside the tax system.

This news release is part of a series called the Tax Time Guide, a resource to help taxpayers file an accurate tax return:

Additional help is available in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax:

The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. People should be alert to scammers posing as the IRS to steal personal information. There are ways to know if it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on someone’s door.

The IRS also works with the Security Summit, a partnership with state tax agencies and the private-sector tax industry, to help protect taxpayer information and defend against identity theft. Taxpayers and tax professionals can take steps to help in this effort.

Below are a few tips to help minimize exposure to fraud and identity theft:
  • Protect personal information. Treat personal information like cash – don’t hand it out to just anyone. Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, bank and even utility account numbers can be used to help steal a person’s money or open new accounts.
  • Avoid phishing scams. The easiest way for criminals to steal sensitive data is simply to ask for it. IRS urges people to learn to recognize phishing emails, calls or texts that pose as familiar organizations such as banks, credit card companies or even the IRS. Keep sensitive data safe and:
  • Be aware that an unsolicited email with a request to download an attachment or click on a URL could appear to come from someone that you know like a friend, work colleague or tax professional if their email has been spoofed or compromised.
  • Don’t assume internet advertisements, pop-up ads or emails are from reputable companies. If an ad or offer looks too good to be true, take a moment to check out the company behind it.
  • Never download “security” software from a pop-up ad. A pervasive ploy is a pop-up ad that indicates it has detected a virus on the computer. Don’t fall for it. The download most likely will install some type of malware. Reputable security software companies do not advertise in this manner.
  • Safeguard personal data. Provide a Social Security number, for example, only when necessary. Only offer personal information or conduct financial transactions on sites that have been verified as reputable, encrypted websites.
  • Use strong passwords. The longer the password, the tougher it is to crack. Use at least 10 characters; 12 is ideal for most home users. Mix letters, numbers and special characters. Try to be unpredictable – don’t use names, birthdates or common words. Don’t use the same password for many accounts and avoid sharing them. Keep passwords in a secure place or use password management software.
Set password and encryption protections for wireless networks. If a home or business Wi-Fi is unsecured, it allows any computer within range to access the wireless network and potentially steal information from connected devices. Whenever it is an option for a password-protected account, users also should opt for a multi-factor authentication process.
  • Use security software. An anti-virus program should provide protection from viruses, Trojans, spyware and adware. The IRS urges people, especially tax professionals, to use an anti-virus program and always keep it up to date.
  • Set security software to update automatically so it can be updated as threats emerge. Educate children and those with less online experience about the threats of opening suspicious web pages, emails or documents.
Back up files. No system is completely secure. Copy important files, including federal and state tax returns, onto removable discs or back-up drives and cloud storage. Store discs, drives and any paper copies in secure, locked locations.

ID Theft Central. New on Designed to improve online access to information on identity theft. Serves taxpayers, tax professionals and businesses.

Taxpayers can find answers to questions, forms and instructions and easy-to-use tools online at They can use these resources to get help when it’s needed at home, at work or on the go.

Shared from the IRS page 

Tax Time Guide: Guard personal, financial and tax information year-round
Tax Time Guide: Guard personal, financial and tax information year-round

Saturday, February 8, 2020

MassBudget: Taxing The GILTI

In our latest tax series report, Taxing the GILTI, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) highlights the impacts of corporate tax avoidance, and solutions to help bring this needed revenue back to the Bay State.
"Aggressive tax avoidance is a tactic often employed by large, multinational corporations and it's hurting our communities," said Marie-Frances Rivera, president of MassBudget. "At a time when there are calls for increased revenue to fund education and fix our broken transportation system, we can't afford to forfeit these dollars. Future generations are depending on us to do what's right."

Recognizing the scope and scale of this problem, federal lawmakers established a process for identifying some of this shifted income and then taxing a portion of it. The Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI) provision allows the federal government and the states to recoup some of the tax dollars lost to aggressive corporate income shifting. "Currently, Massachusetts is not making full use of this powerful tool," said Kurt Wise, senior policy analyst and author of the report. 

"Recoupling to the GILTI provision would level the playing field for corporate taxpayers and would allow the Commonwealth to collect millions in tax dollars now lost to sophisticated accounting tricks."
Key findings in this report include:
  • The federal government has created a tax provision, GILTI, to combat this abusive tax planning;
  • Massachusetts lawmakers decoupled from this federal provision in 2018. Instead of taxing 50 percent of GILTI, as the federal provision does, Massachusetts now taxes only five percent;
  • If lawmakers now choose to recouple to the federal provision, the Commonwealth stands to gain up to $450 million in additional revenue each year;
  • Fourteen states - including ME, VT, NH and RI - have adopted the federal GILTI provision, taxing 50 percent of GILTI; and,
  • States are on solid constitutional footing when taxing the GILTI, backed by multiple rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court dating back to the 19th Century.
To learn more about how the Commonwealth can combat abusive income shifting by large, multinational corporations, read the full Taxing the GILTI report here

For the full infographic

For other resources, like our Gas Tax: What Is It and Who Pays fact sheet and more, visit our tax homepage 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.

What is GILTI?
"The Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI) provision was created to combat corporate tax avoidance. Many large, profitable U.S. multinational corporations go to great lengths to reduce their taxes."
MassBudget: Taxing The GILTI
MassBudget: Taxing The GILTI

Sunday, December 15, 2019

In the News: tax cut will reduce state tax revenues; La Salette opens for 65th year

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"In 2000, Massachusetts voters handily approved a ballot question meant to reduce the state’s income tax rate to 5%.

Two decades later, they’re finally getting their wish.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker announced last week that on Jan. 1, the income tax rate will be cut from 5.05% to 5%.

The tax cut marks the end of a process that began in 2002 following passage of the ballot question two years earlier."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"For 65 years, the Christmas Festival of Lights at La Salette has helped illuminate the reason for the season while providing delight and beauty for countless visitors.

The Rev. Flavio Gillio loves to light up the night. After all, that’s his job; he is the director of the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro. Each year, he is responsible for making sure the 300,000 lights and scores of holiday displays at the religious site shine brightly. As you might imagine, it’s a lot of work.

“Tis the season! ’Tis the season! Yes, we are very busy!” chuckles Father Flavio in a soft Italian accent. The priest in the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette was born in a small town near Turin in Italy, across the valley from the village in France where Mary was said to have appeared to two young children in 1846."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

MassBudget: Businesses Avoid $1.4 Billion in 2019 Tax Amid Decades-Long Decline in Corporate Income Tax Share

Businesses Avoid $1.4 Billion in 2019 Tax Amid Decades-Long Decline in Corporate Income Tax Share

Despite rising corporate profits, taxes on those profits deliver smaller share of MA tax total

Over the past 40 years, revenue collected from corporate excise and related taxes has dropped by a third as a percentage of total state tax revenue in Massachusetts, according to the latest report from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget). At the same time, the report finds, corporations across the nation are claiming an ever-growing share of all the income generated in the U.S.

According to the report, Rising Profits, Falling Tax Shares: Fixing What's Broken, multiple factors have contributed to the long-term decline in the share of state taxes provided by corporate income taxes. The tax rate on most corporate income in Massachusetts was reduced from 9.5 percent to 8 percent between 2009 and 2012. Growth in the number and cost of state special business tax breaks also has played a role, as have increasingly aggressive tax avoidance efforts by corporations.
Businesses Avoid $1.4 Billion in 2019 Tax Amid Decades-Long Decline in Corporate Income Tax Share
Key report findings include: 
  • During the last decade, Massachusetts corporate income and related taxes delivered an average of 10.6 percent of total state tax collections, compared to an average of 16 percent in the 1980s;
  • Businesses would have contributed another $1.4 billion in taxes to the Commonwealth in FY 2019 had Massachusetts' corporate excise tax collections remained at the share of total taxes they provided throughout the 1980s (about 16 percent of the total);
  • Massachusetts corporations are seeing a reduction in their annual federal tax bills of around $4 billion due to the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act; 
  • Massachusetts is in the bottom fifth of all states in terms of the share of total state and local taxes paid by businesses
"At a time when profits are soaring, taxes on those profits should not be delivering a smaller slice of our total tax pie. Kids, commuters and communities across the state need profitable corporations doing business here in Massachusetts to step up and do more, not less," said Marie-Frances Rivera, President of MassBudget.
Interested in learning about state-level policy options that would help restore the share of state taxes collected through taxing corporate income? Read the full Rising Profits, Falling Tax Shares report, click here

Other reports from our series on corporate taxes have been flagged on our website 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.

BOSTON, MA 02109

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 1 State Street, Suite 1250, Boston, MA 02109

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Friday, November 1, 2019

MassBudget: Statement on Proposed Gas Tax Increase

October 30, 2019
Statement on Proposed Gas Tax Increase 
Statement by Marie-Frances Rivera, Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center President, in response to discussions on increasing the gas tax: 

With congested highways, antiquated public transit, and limited transit options outside of Greater Boston, the Legislature and business community are debating the merits of increasing the gas tax to modernize our state's transportation system. It is critically important to understand that not only would this increase hit low and middle income communities the hardest but it would draw on a source of transportation revenue that will likely decline over the long term.

Our report, 14 Options for Raising Progressive Revenue, outlines a variety of fair and sustainable ways we can raise revenue, including raising corporate taxes. These options ask those who are benefiting most from economic growth to contribute a little more to help bring our transportation system into the 21st century.

If policymakers decide to raise the gas tax, increasing and expanding worker tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, can create a financial buffer for some who would be hardest hit by a gas tax increase.

Interested in learning more about the pros and cons of higher gas taxes? Read our latest report 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.

BOSTON, MA 02109

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 1 State Street, Suite 1250, Boston, MA 02109

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Constant Contact
Try email marketing for free today!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Franklin Election 2019: What does the Board of Assessors do?

While the Town Council votes to set the tax rate annually, the calculations on what the tax rate should be are based upon the valuations of all the commercial, industrial, residential, and personal property that Franklin has record of. These calculations are performed by the Assessors under the oversight of the elected Board of Assessors.

The state has changed the requirement for a property revaluation from every three years to every five years.

There are three members of the Board. Two positions are up for election this year. All three positions are four year terms of office and staggered to avoid a complete replacement and loss of institutional knowledge.

From the Town of Franklin Board of Assessors page
Establish and maintain valuations for all real and personal property within the community for purposes of generating tax revenues.

Services and Programs
Valuation, classification and assessment of all real and personal property for tax purposes. Conduct research of real estate market (including sales and ratio studies); prepare sales and other reports for state review and certification of values. Prepares and certifies abutters lists. Processes abatements, liens, and apportionment. Maintains assessors' maps, plans, property transfer records, and valuation data. Processes all real and personal property abatements and exemptions. Processes and abates motor vehicle excise. Prepares data for state approval of tax rate.

Inquiries regarding the valuation of residential property, industrial and commercial valuations, or questions about personal property valuations should be directed to Kevin W. Doyle, Peter Mooney or David Ruberti.

Questions regarding abatement and exemption applications, abutters lists, motor vehicle excise, ownership of real and personal property and general assessment data should be directed to the clerical support staff.

The Board of Assessors section in Franklin Annual Report for 2018 can be found

Find more information on the Franklin Election Nov 5, 2019 in the "election collection" 

Franklin Election 2019: What does the Board of Assessors do?
Franklin Election 2019: What does the Board of Assessors do?

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

“I do think it’s important that we’re involving the public as much as possible”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"The Senate working group formed to take a deep dive into tax policy and recommend ways to modernize and update the tax code will hold closed meetings, according to its chairman. 
Sen. Adam Hinds of Pittsfield, who also co-chairs the Joint Committee on Revenue, told the News Service that the working group will hold six regional hearings to take public testimony but will keep its monthly business meetings closed in an effort to facilitate “honest conversation” among group members. 
“It’s my inclination to do it this way,” said Hinds, who has described the group’s charge as modernizing and simplifying the state tax code by recommending legislative changes for consideration in the 2021-2022 legislative session. 
The group’s first meeting is set for 2 p.m. on May 15 in the Senate Reading Room. Its members include a former lieutenant governor and revenue commissioner, representatives of big businesses and labor unions, and several appointees who favor changes to boost revenue and make taxes fairer for low-income workers."

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From the archives, the original announcement of the Senate Revenue Working Group

Senate President Karen Spilka announces the members of the Senate Revenue Working Group, chaired by Senator Adam Hinds
Senate President Karen Spilka announces the members of the
Senate Revenue Working Group, chaired by Senator Adam Hinds