Data from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) detail how the current system of state and local taxes in Massachusetts is regressive, largely because the state uses a flat income tax rate and relies heavily on sales taxes.
The chart above shows how an increase in the gas tax would make Massachusetts taxes more regressive. If a 10-cent increase to the state gas tax was in place in 2019, it would have raised approximately $328 million in additional revenue. Households with low and moderate incomes would have paid significantly larger shares of their income toward this increase than the highest-income households would have. The additional tax would have represented almost 0.20 percent of income for the lowest-income households; about 0.10 percent of income for middle-income households; and about 0.01 percent for the highest 1 percent of income earners (who on average purchase more gas than other income groups).