Why do we need more revenue?
The MTA is a member of the Campaign for Our Communities, a coalition of over 120 groups that support raising new revenue in a way that is fair. These funds are needed to improve the quality of life in our communities and to strengthen our public schools and public higher education system. Why now?
Budget cuts have taken a toll on important services, including education. Since 2001:
- Local aid is down 45 percent: With less state support, cities and towns have been forced to cut back on local services – including public schools – or shift costs to property taxes.
- Higher education funding is down 31 percent. Tuition and fees have roughly doubled, making public higher education increasingly unaffordable for middle-class families and squeezing budgets on our campuses.
- Early education and care funding is down 28 percent: These cuts not only harm children, but also make it harder for low-income parents to work and support their families.
Imagine a better future – then invest in it.
- Working together through government allows us to accomplish things that are vital to us as a Commonwealth and that we can’t do alone. To that end, the coalition’s plan and a similar proposal by Governor Deval Patrick would raise about $2 billion a year in new revenues. Major investments would be targeted for education, transportation and local communities. Education is our best “natural resource.” Imagine what we could do with an even better educated citizenry and improvements to our aging roads, bridges, trains and transit systems.
Increasing the income tax and the personal exemption is fair.
- During the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, Massachusetts cut the income tax by $3 billion a year. Today, we have used up most of our reserves. We can no longer afford such a huge revenue loss and still provide the services that have made Massachusetts great.
- These proposals ask more of those who have the most. Both the coalition’s plan and the governor’s proposal call for increasing the income tax rate but also increasing the personal exemption in order to hold down any increases for low- and middle-income families and seniors.
For more information, go to the Revenue Toolkit on the MTA website at: massteacher.org/revenue or to the Campaign for Our Communities website, www.ourcommunities.org.