State revenue has been steadily declining for years due to state policy decisions. Between 1977 and 2015, Massachusetts reduced taxes more than all but two other states. What’s more, our state and local taxes are “upside down.” On average, Massachusetts households in the top 20 percent of incomes contribute a lower percentage of their income in state and local taxes than those with low or moderate incomes.
I know I’m not alone in our region in viewing taxes as an investment in our shared services, infrastructure, and our common welfare.
When our commonwealth generates less money in revenue, we’re more vulnerable to federal fluctuations. We also risk an austerity budgeting posture where we have less and less money to spend on critical things like education, our veterans, clean water, roads, and so much more.
Please take a moment to look at the revenue bills I have filed this session.
You can also view all bills I’ve co-sponsored this session here.
Allow Tax on Sales of Luxury Homes to Build Affordable Housing
SD.565, An Act empowering cities and towns to impose a fee on certain real estate transactions to support affordable housing
Lack of affordable housing and homelessness remain major crises, and cities and towns need funds to support the development of affordable housing in their communities. My bill allows cities and towns to choose to levy a local tax on the transfer of luxury houses, with the money generated put into that municipality’s affordable housing trust fund.
Progressive Revenue Growth
HD.1018, An Act to strengthen the foundation of the Commonwealth
The upside-down Massachusetts tax system takes a higher proportion of the income earned by poorer residents than it does from the top 1%. Before 1998, the Commonwealth taxed wage income at 5.95 percent compared to 12 percent for unearned income (interest and capital gains). But now, our flat tax system treats all income the same, a change which benefits the wealthiest and results in a regressive tax system. I joined with Representative Mike Connolly on legislation to increase the tax rate on capital gains, dividends and interest, and to allow personal exemptions for all taxpayers. The bill was introduced in the House because of constitutional requirements for tax legislation to start there.