Tuesday, May 15, 2007

MBPC: Mass. is 32nd in Local Tax Burden

Yesterday, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center issued a release that showed their analysis of fiscal year 2005 tax collections for each of the fifty states, as recorded by the US Census. What they found is that Massachusetts' state and local tax level is among the lowest 40% (PDF). Here in Massachusetts we pay, according to the MBPC's figures, about 10.5% of our income to state and local taxes, compared with 11% nationally and a whopping 15% in New York. That figure puts us at 32nd in the nation, meaning that only 18 states send a lower share of income to their state and local governments. Once again, the "Taxachusetts" myth crumbles when exposed to any kind of scrutiny.

Last year, around this time, The MBPC put out a similar statement (PDF) comparing the tax rates of all fifty states for fiscal year 2002. For that year, Massachusetts ranked 38th out of fifty with a rate of 9.6%, well below the national average of 10.3%. So, from FY2002 to FY2005, the share of income in Massachusetts paid in state and local taxes went up faster than the national share (from 9.6% to 10.5% for MA vs. 10.3% to 11%).

So here's my question -- how does this information jive with then-governor Mitt Romney's claim that he "kept taxes down" in Massachusetts?