Taxes and Budget Issues

Massachusetts’ upside-down tax system

Massachusetts’ upside-down tax system

Asking the richest to pay their fair share would add $2B in revenue

AT A TIME when people across the state seem to agree that our Commonwealth needs additional resources for public investments, asking those with the highest incomes to contribute a similar share of their incomes in taxes as the rest of us could support major investments to boost prosperity and economic opportunity for all. Every state(...)

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Final approval given to two retail pot stores

Final approval given to two retail pot stores

Cannabis commissioner abstains in opposition to host community agreements

THE STATE BOARD overseeing the nascent marijuana industry gave final approval to the first licenses for retail stores Thursday with some conditions. But the vote, one of the most momentous the panel has yet taken, was not unanimous with one commissioner abstaining because of problems with the host community agreements. The Cannabis Control Commission approved(...)

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Slow pot rollout costing state tax revenue

Slow pot rollout costing state tax revenue

Advocates say short staff, bureaucracy creating problems for legal sales

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE SAYING MASSACHUSETTS HAS missed out on $16 million in marijuana taxes, officials behind the 2016 legal marijuana ballot question on Monday pointed to staffing levels and bureaucracy at the Cannabis Control Commission as potential reasons for the slow rollout of retail sales in Massachusetts. “The Cannabis Control Commission needs to pick(...)

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A new Quincy

A new Quincy

Building boom looks to move city beyond its past without leaving it behind

QUINCY MAYOR THOMAS KOCH calls the MBTA’s Red Line the “spine” of his aging city. With four stops in North Quincy, Wollaston, Quincy Center, and Quincy Adams, the T’s Red Line allows residents to move around the city and connect with Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville to the north. These transit connections have long been the(...)

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A look at one of the Legislature’s veto overrides

A look at one of the Legislature’s veto overrides

Lawmakers restore earmarks for all sorts of local projects

THE LEGISLATURE SWIFTLY OVERRODE many of the governor’s budget vetoes on Monday, including one whose elimination has become almost an annual rite of passage on Beacon Hill. Baker on Thursday vetoed nearly $4 million in legislative earmarks included in a line item for the Department of Fire Services, an agency in charge of training firefighters(...)

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Taxes on short-term rentals could hit 17.5%

Taxes on short-term rentals could hit 17.5%

New taxes expected to take effect in January 2019

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE SHORT-TERM HOUSING UNITS rented through websites like Airbnb could be taxed at almost 17.5 percent in cities like Boston and Massachusetts would become the first state in the country to maintain a central registry under compromise legislation agreed to Sunday night by House and Senate negotiators. State officials have been trying(...)

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Sanchez, Spilka drop immigration issue from budget

Sanchez, Spilka drop immigration issue from budget

DeLeo: 'There's really been no consensus in the House'

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE INABILITY OF HOUSE AND SENATE budget negotiators to reach a consensus over immigration law enforcement doomed a budget measure that would have restricted local police from acting as immigration agents, the House’s lead negotiator said. The negotiator, Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez of Jamaica Plain, and his counterpart in the Senate, Karen(...)

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Lawmakers going off-the-books for police training

Lawmakers going off-the-books for police training

$2 fee on rental cars follows pattern of fire training

THE LEGISLATURE APPEARS POISED to shift the cost of municipal police training on to people renting cars in Massachusetts, adopting a funding philosophy for law enforcement that was pioneered decades ago for firefighters and which some believe has spiraled out of control. The Senate and House moved on Wednesday to pass legislation assessing a $2(...)

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Charter school funding formula is broken

Charter school funding formula is broken

The current system is wreaking havoc with municipal finances

ONE DOESN’T HAVE to choose sides in the long debate over charter schools in order to raise legitimate questions about the approach being taken in Massachusetts. I count myself among those who have adopted a nuanced view—one that is philosophically supportive of a range of ambitious K-12 education reforms, including charters, but that also recognizes(...)

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Creative accounting on Beacon Hill

Creative accounting on Beacon Hill

Lawmakers warm to the idea of private funding for police, fire training

BRIAN KEYES, the police chief in Chelsea, sounds like a mountain climber with the summit finally in sight. He and his fellow chiefs have been scaling Beacon Hill for almost a decade looking for a way to fund police training programs that wouldn’t require them to go hat in hand to the Legislature each and(...)

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