We stand up for a Massachusetts where everyone gets a fair shot, does and pays their fair share, and plays by the same rules.
Faced with a budget shortfall of up to $750 million, our leaders on Beacon Hill have a lot of tough choices to make. We urge lawmakers to consider addressing corporate tax loopholes and tax subsidies as part of this process.
Massachusetts has already let funding for early education shrink by nearly 50 percent over the last decade and a half as funding has not kept pace with inflation. The field is in crisis and driving many capable teachers out of the field.
The increases represented in the draft budget are critical to ensuring more children get a strong start. Surely we can’t abandon that progress without even looking into the subsidies and loopholes that go to some of the most profitable companies doing business in the Commonwealth.
Corporate tax subsidies make up a large portion of the budget (estimated to be well more than $3 billion), and much of that is not held to any standard of efficiency and accountability. Especially given this latest budget shortfall, we simply can’t afford to give away billions in tax subsidies without some opportunity to ensure these credits are being used in good faith and offer a meaningful public benefit to the people of Massachusetts. We should immediately enact reforms, such as those proposed by Rep. Jay Kaufman, Auditor Suzanne Bump and Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz to increase transparency and accountability on those subsidies.
We can also lessen the budget shortfall by closing loopholes. Last year, bills were filed in both the House (Rep. Josh Cutler) and Senate (Sen. Mark Montigny) which would close a loophole that allows companies to hide profits in places like the Cayman Islands that levy little to no tax. Not only would these bipartisan measures ease budget pain, but they make our tax system a little more fair. Local businesses aren’t setting up foreign subsidiaries to skirt tax codes, they’re paying their fair share for the services we all benefit from. Everyone should play by the same rules.
There are a lot of tough choices facing lawmakers, but amid these tough choices is an easy one: Let’s close a loophole that allows companies to hide money overseas and avoid paying taxes. Let’s make sure the billions we give out in tax subsidies are worth the price tag