Still Taxachusetts after all these years?

By Gabrielle Gurley

Not exactly. Anti-tax activists won’t get any ammunition from the US Census Bureau for their tax rollback efforts.  The bureau’s annual study of State and Local Government Finances for fiscal year 2008 found that the amount of state and local taxes turned over to Massachusetts as a share of total personal income was 10.3 percent in FY 2008.  Thirty other states had more to complain about: crunching those numbers, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center concluded that the Bay State ranks 31st in country in taxes.  Looking at those figures another way, the state placed in the bottom 40 percent of all 50 states for taxes as a share of state personal income two years ago.

The center also found that if Massachusetts taxpayers had paid at the national average of 10.9 percent, a whopping $1.9 billion in additional revenues would have come into the state’s coffers. Moreover, according to the center, even though the state has increased other taxes since 2008, 29 other states have also passed various types of tax hikes, making Massachusetts less likely to gain ground on other states.

Two proposed ballot questions seek to put a dent in the taxes paid by state residents. One question would rollback the sales tax to 3 percent. A second would repeal the recently passed tax on retail alcohol sales.

Meet the Author

Gabrielle Gurley

Senior Associate Editor, CommonWealth

About Gabrielle Gurley

Gabrielle covers several beats, including mass transit, municipal government, child welfare, and energy and the environment. Her recent articles have explored municipal hiring practices in Pittsfield, public defender pay, and medical marijuana, and she has won several national journalism awards for her work. Prior to coming to CommonWealth in 2005, Gabrielle wrote for the State House News Service, The Boston Globe, and other publications. She launched her media career in broadcast journalism with C-SPAN in Washington, DC. The Philadelphia native holds degrees from Boston College and Georgetown University.

About Gabrielle Gurley

Gabrielle covers several beats, including mass transit, municipal government, child welfare, and energy and the environment. Her recent articles have explored municipal hiring practices in Pittsfield, public defender pay, and medical marijuana, and she has won several national journalism awards for her work. Prior to coming to CommonWealth in 2005, Gabrielle wrote for the State House News Service, The Boston Globe, and other publications. She launched her media career in broadcast journalism with C-SPAN in Washington, DC. The Philadelphia native holds degrees from Boston College and Georgetown University.