October 21, 2015

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center: Examining Tax Fairness

ITEP Work in Action

Taxes are the primary way we pay for the things that we do together through government. These include things like police and fire protection; public education; roads, bridges and public transportation; a safety net for when people face hard times; and more. Determining how much people at different income levels pay in taxes is important when considering the fairness of tax policy changes.  While most taxes in Massachusetts have a fixed rate—for example, the state has a flat 5.15 percent income tax—different income groups are affected differently by each tax.  These differences can be explained in terms of regressivity and progressivity—how taxes vary by income level.

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