Update: The hearing on this bill was originally scheduled on Thursday, October 5, 10:00 am but has been postponed and will be rescheduled.
President Trump and his Republican allies have already begun to cut federal programs critical to our health and welfare, while proposing provocative and wasteful increases in Pentagon spending. Unfortunately, few citizens have a clear grasp of the spending allocations in the Congressional budget (see pie chart below for 2015 spending) and how changes in these programs alter the federal tax dollars returned to Massachusetts.
First step: Representatives Mike Connolly and Denise Provost, and State Senator Pat Jehlen, have filed a bill to instruct the Secretary of Administration and Finance to provide this key information to Massachusetts taxpayers.
If this Act is passed by our State Legislature, the Congressional budget information in the piechart for subsequent years would be sent to taxpayers, together with the estimated changes following from federal and Congressional budget authorizations.
Then, telephone them and make the same request. Click here to see the name and telephone number of your representative and senator, and a suggested message.
It’s time for Revenue Information and Accountability. Write your state legislators today!
Text of S.1722 (Senate) and H.3363 (House)
The Secretary for Administration and Finance shall provide a short summary each year to be mailed to Massachusetts resident taxpayers by March 15, which reports the total amount of income tax paid to the federal government in the prior year, together with the per cent of those dollars allocated in the prior year’s Congressional discretionary budget to housing, education, healthcare, public transit, biomedical research, veterans services, food stamps and assistance, environmental protection, and defense spending including nuclear weapons. The report shall also include the estimated increase or decrease in federal funds being returned to Massachusetts in the various categories above, by comparing the current Congressional discretionary budget authorization with the prior year’s budget appropriations. The report shall include easy to read pie chart or bar graph form use the budget numbers reported by the Congressional Budget Office of the federal government. The report shall also remind taxpayers that Medicare and Social Security programs are financed as separate trust funds, not through income taxes.
The secretary may acquire the information required under this section from any nonpartisan, third-party organization that regularly compiles such data; provided further, the secretary may enter into an agreement with such an organization to produce the report on the secretary’s behalf.