CPE members testify before the Massachusetts legislature

May 11, 2011

CPE members Randy Albelda and Gerald Friedman testified before the Massachusetts legislature’s joint committee on revenue on May 5, 2011 on behalf of “An Act to Invest in our Communities.” This proposal would raise approximately $1.2 for schools and social services in Massachusetts by raising the tax rate on capital gains and interest and dividend income and the income tax rate while simultaneously raising the personal exemption; the net effect would be to raise taxes on households with incomes of over $100,000, especially those with incomes over $500,000 without effecting those earning less. In their testimony, Albelda and Friedman showed that the current fiscal crisis in Massachusetts is the result of decades of tax cutting on the state and federal level combined with the effects of the Great Recession which lowered revenues and raised the demand for state services. They argued that cutting services would be the equivalent of tax increase on the poor and needy; and that maintaining government services through a progressive tax would on balance create jobs. Their testimony was well received by the committee which was attentive and asked many good questions. The very large audience, well over 250 people, in the Massachusetts State House’s Gardner Auditorium showed its support for their testimony by waiving their hands and banners. The audience also broke out in loud applause when Friedman observed that the state could balance its budget in a moment by implementing a single-payer health insurance system that would save as much as $2 billion dollars on state and local government spending.

For more, see Daily Hampshire Gazette article, Hampshire County residents take their appeal for tax reform to Beacon Hill