When the Commonwealth releases budget proposals (like Governor Patrick did in January), it is sometimes the case that additional information is sought by different people. Some citizens have difficulty seeing how the proposal would specifically impact them. Other citizens would like to explore how modifying different parameters in the proposal might yield different outcomes.
Good news for both groups: Governor Patrick recently unveiled a new online revenue modeling tool which meets both of these needs. The revenue modeling tool allows citizens to show the impact of the Patrick-Murray Administration Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) budget proposal on their finances, and also lets the user make modifications to several assumptions and see the results. The tool can be found at www.mass.gov/governor/choosegrowth, along with maps which outline the education and transportation investments that will help grow jobs in every corner of the Commonwealth.
To support almost $2 billion in meaningful investments that will strengthen the state’s economic future, the Governor’s FY14 budget calls for the creation of a simpler and fairer tax system that lowers the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent, and raises the income tax to 6.25 percent. Notably, all proceeds from the sales tax will be dedicated to a public works fund which will support the Administration’s 21st century transportation plan, as well as the school building fund and other public infrastructure projects.
Approximately half of Massachusetts residents will pay less or the same under his plan.
The revenue modeling tool is a simple five step form where individuals or families anonymously type in basic demographic information, such as income and number of dependents. Then users can increase or decrease state revenue streams, such as sales tax. Adjustments are automatically reflected in an impact statement for the household, which also shows the Commonwealth’s ability to make certain investments.
How does the Governor’s proposed plan affect you? This tool will reveal the direct impact to you and your family. By using the revenue modeling tool, you can engage about the state budget, and learn more about all the variables considered when making f decisions. The tool can be downloaded here. (Microsoft Excel required.)