Friday, May 19, 2017

MassBudget presents on the FY18 state budget (MASBO Annual Institute 2017)

 Noah Berger, MassBudget and Policy
people are our resource; Mann's quote on "having no mines to work...whatever abundance she may possess, all has bee evolved from the enlightened...mind, not of a few, but of the great masses, of her people"

people think of the state budget "as a sink hole"
useful to think of what we do with your budget: education, transportation, parks, public safety, clear air and drinking water, prisons and courts, public health care, human services
budget debates are partly a debate about how we allocate our resources to spend on these things
how much of our income do we spend on state and local taxes: 10.4%, which is the national average
"Taxachusetts" came from our system in 1977
state and local taxes are down 25% since then; partly Prop 2 1/2, partly income tax cuts
ongoing budget gaps sourced back to the cuts made in late 90's and in early 00's
education aid down, local aid down
big differences are between where we were 15-20 years ago and now
in higher ed, state funding has declined while enrollment has increased; thus tuition and fees have gone up, which explains about 3/4 of the problem
a lot of reliance on one time money to pay for budgets
"this is the one group I talk to that gets how this is a problem"
this year's budget again largely meets gaps through one time fees

"higher income communities have decided for themselves that you can't provide an adequate education from the foundation budget"
and these are the FBRC gaps, which you've seen...
"there somehow was a hope that by keeping special education funding down, you could keep costs down"
to knowing laughter
32% less being spent on teachers in low income districts (as of 2010)
important to keep the focus on what we can't do because of the foundation budget gaps

poorly educated states have lower wage economies
"when we think about economic policy, it's important to remember that"
"no state has come up with some magic formula to take a poorly educated workforce and create a high wage economy"

bottom 99% of Massachusetts spends about 9.4% of their income in taxes
top 1% spend 6.5% of their income in taxes
"our tax system makes income inequality worse"
That's a $2B difference
a lot of the difference is the sales tax: for most, much of what they spent on things that charge sales tax; if you're making $10M a year, not the case
the Fair Share amendment, would close the gap about 1/2
(they'd still be paying less than the 99% of the rest of us)
9% tax rate applies at only over $1M
federal offset; your state taxes are a deduction from your federal taxes
in states that have this, there isn't a lot of migration from these states

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