Come hear from Governor Maura Healey as she addresses Chamber members as the 73rd Governor of the Commonwealth.
9:45am - 11:00am
The Westin Copley
Hear from a panel of professionals on how apprenticeship programs are creating a more robust and diverse talent pipeline.
3:00pm - 5:00pm
Another Age Productions
Join us for our highly anticipated Annual Meeting, Greater Boston's top business convening of the year.
4:30pm - 8:00pm
Boston Convention and Exhibition Center
Expand your DEI professional development with a virtual workshop focused specifically on LGBTQIA+ identities and inclusion.
Join our Transformational DEI Certificate! Our comprehensive learning & development offerings are designed to connect and grow strong leaders who lead both inside and out of the office.
Our Women’s Leadership Program enables you to take your leadership to the next level by arming you with the most in-demand leadership toolkit.
Our Boston’s Future Leaders (BFL) program provides emerging leaders with a socially conscious and civically engaged leadership toolkit, as well as the opportunity to apply their knowledge through experiential assignments.
City Awake empowers young professionals in a variety of ways that encourages these rising leaders to stay invested in the region’s future success.
We are developing an ecosystem of corporations and partners with the influence and buying power to transform economic inclusion for minority business enterprises (MBEs).
The Fierce Urgency of Now Festival brings Boston’s diverse young professionals together with business leaders, organizations and their peers to build connection, advance careers and ignite positive change.
BIMA (the Boston Interactive Media Association) serves a vibrant community of like-minded professionals from agencies, brands, publishers, and ad-tech companies with business interests in the New England market.
For nearly 30 years, the Chamber’s Women’s Network has connected female professionals of all background and career levels. Today, our Women’s Network is the largest in New England, strengthening the professional networks of women each year.
The Massachusetts Apprentice Network convenes employers, training providers, and talent sources interested in developing and implementing apprenticeship programs in occupations across industries and statewide in fields such as tech, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and more.
We support small business through public policy initiatives, events designed to connect small businesses in Greater Boston to their peers and established business leaders, professional development offerings, and free small business advising.
Explore our mission and values to better understand how we are leading the business community forward.
Our member directory is your resource to discover, connect, and engage with Boston’s businesses from every industry and sector.
April 26, 2021
The Chamber submitted testimony to the Joint Committee on Revenue opposing H.86, Proposal for a legislative amendment to the Constitution to provide resources for education and transportation through an additional tax on incomes in excess of one million dollars.
There are at least two policy flaws with the proposal to add a new four percent tax on income over $1 million: it would make the state more vulnerable to future budget gaps and it would take nearly half a decade to resolve negative or unintended consequences.
The proposed new tax on income over $1 million would make the state more vulnerable to future budget gaps.
This proposal would raise the state’s already-high reliance on income tax revenue – a volatile and economically sensitive source – and risk creating budget gaps during periods of slow or stagnant economic growth. As a result, if adopted, residents will be more exposed to the tax increases and budget cuts required to close such gaps.
Personal income tax revenue accounted for more than 58 percent of total state tax revenue in FY 2020. The revenues from the additional four percent surtax on income above $1 million have been estimated to be nearly $2 billion annually. Based on FY 2020 tax collections, income taxes would account for 61 percent of total state tax revenue.
The heavy reliance on personal income tax revenue poses structural budget challenges for the state because the revenue source is sensitive to economic conditions and declines during recessions. Between FY 2001 and FY 2002 personal income tax revenue dropped by 20 percent, or $2 billion. During the Great Recession, personal income tax revenue dropped 15 percent between FY 2008 and FY 2009 and then an additional four percent in the next fiscal year; the total income tax revenue loss in just two years amounted to $2.4 billion.
In FY 2020, which included four months of the COVID pandemic, income tax revenues averted a decline because of strong performance in the first eight months of the fiscal year and the unprecedented $2.2 trillion in federal funding that included an additional $600 per week in unemployment assistance and business loans to retain employees on payrolls.
The practical and predictable outcome of building in $2 billion of a volatile revenue source into the state’s budget is that the state will be vulnerable to budget gaps because income tax revenues generally drop at the same time the demand for public services rises. As a result, the state will be required to implement broader and potentially regressive tax increases that will affect all residents when these revenues underperform. On the other side of the ledger, the state could face 9C cuts or look to reduce its non-discretionary spending, including funding for transportation and education. Over the last 20 years, there are several examples of such situation:
These actions demonstrate how the state has responded to declining or underperforming income tax revenues and provide a glimpse into how it will handle the same situation in the future. If the new tax is adopted, the state will be even more reliant on the income tax and so the negative consequences could be greater in magnitude.
It will take years to make any revisions to fix unintended or negative consequences.
By amending the constitution instead of the general laws, proponents are seeking to remove crucial policymaking from the Legislature’s hands, both current and future, and replace it with a drawn out process that hamstrings policymakers and voters.
Specific tax rates should be set through the legislative process and contained in general laws. One reason tax rates are handled through the legislative process – rather than enshrining them in constitutions – is that the legislative process can act more quickly to avert or address economic damage.
In the best case scenario it will take at least four years to correct any mistakes or adjust for unintended or negative consequences. At a minimum, the change would require approval from two distinct legislatures, followed by a statewide vote with the majority approving the change. If the measure passes these hurdles, the change can be implemented but that will also take time.
There are real risks with this proposed new tax, and the lure of additional revenue should not overshadow those risks. All residents will be impacted if the proposal is adopted, whether in the form of a different tax increase or cuts to services when there is a decline in income tax revenues or sustaining the consequences that will take years to repair.
 Massachusetts Department of Revenue Blue Book, June 2020.
 Massachusetts Department of Revenue Blue Books, June 2000 – June 2018.
 Through February 2020, the Department of Revenue reported that state tax revenues were one percent above the fiscal year-to-date benchmark.
Senior Vice President, Policy & Research