Income Tax Cuts Have Reduced Funding for Effective Investments in Our People and Communities

As part of our Shared Prosperity Agenda blog series, Kurt Wise of MassBudget shares their on progressive revenue. MassBudget is an independent nonprofit organization that provides non-partisan research and analysis of state budget and tax policies, as well as economic issues, that affect low- and moderate-income people in Massachusetts.


budget_cut_scissors.jpgThe state budget, and the taxes that fund it, are the primary way we pay for the things that we do together through government. These include police and fire protection; public education; roads, bridges and public transportation; a safety net for when people face hard times; and more. These investments can both make life better for our families today and build a foundation for a stronger economy in the future.

Beginning in 1998, a number of significant changes were made to the state tax code, including a series of cuts to the state personal income tax. These cuts reduced the Commonwealth's capacity to fund essential services. 

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Fiscal Conservatism Means Investing Smart

Members and organizational partners are sharing their experiences and expertise as part of our blog series on our Shared Prosperity Agenda. This week, Patricia Negron from Needham argues that fiscal conservatism means investing smart.

 


As a business owner, I know that I’m only going to be as successful as the community I serve.hands_of_team_holding_sprout_6v5s_p3iq.jpg

Any good businessperson knows, our transportation infrastructure is paramount to the smooth flow of commerce.  Cargo ships, trains, and planes, tractor trailers and delivery trucks bring us all of our critical as well as discretionary goods and raw materials day in and out.  This requires properly working, state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for our ship and air ports, railways, and roads.  

We also know that a properly educated workforce is essential to creating competitive businesses that are positioned to succeed over the long-term.  I stress “long-term” because it is expensive for businesses to open and close, for the business owner and employees, but there are implications also for the larger community every time a local business shuts its doors.  Dollars previously spent at the business often move out of the community, along with the associated tax revenue, drying up community investment and we all lose, yet again.  

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Transportation Infrastructure

Over the summer, we are highlighting aspects of our Shared Prosperity Agenda. Our members are sharing their experiences and expertise on Education, Healthcare, Housing, Jobs and Wages, and Progressive Revenue.

This week we are focusing on Jobs -- Within five years, every job in Massachusetts should pay at least $15/hour, and everyone should have access to safe, affordable transportation; a good first step would be an increased minimum wageindexed to inflation, and earned sick time.

Lizzi Weyant is the Advocacy Director at Transportation for Massachusetts.Transportation for Massachusetts is working with the Committee for Safer Roads and Bridges, formed to defeat Question 1.


A good transportation system drives our economy. We need choices about how we get to work, school, and job training, and employers of all sizes need to be able to move people and goods efficiently and effectively.

Consider these facts: every $1 billion we invest in transportation infrastructure supports 36,000 jobs. And every $10 million we invest in public transportation generates $30 million in increased business sales.

I don’t know about your portfolio, but most investments I read about don’t have a 3:1 rate of return in job creation and economic development. But transportation does!

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