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Massachusetts Has Lost A Greater Share Of Revenue Than Most States Due To COVID-19


This story is part of an NPR nationwide analysisof states' revenue and budgets during the pandemic.

Massachusetts lawmakers say they're still waiting for word from Washington, D.C., on whether states and local governments will receive more financial aid to deal with the economic fallout of the pandemic and the dire state of the 2021 fiscal year budget.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and the Democrat-led Legislature have plans to continue state spending through a three-month interim budget, with no sign that a full-year spending plan is feasible.

The combination of a delayed tax filing deadline and drastically lower than expected sales, meals, lodging, gas and corporate taxes has left budget writers looking to Congress to avoid budget cuts, tax increases or draining the state's $3.5 billion rainy-day fund during the pandemic.

"The revenue loss is real. It is incredibly significant, and it is still ongoing and will be ongoing. And we're going to be in pain here for a while," Democratic state Rep. Mark Cusack, chair of the Joint Committee on Revenue, said at a fiscal oversight hearing in July.

With emptying coffers, the state is unable to fund the commitment it made just last year to municipalities to boost funding for K-12 schools.

Mike Deehan is the state house reporter for WGBH in Boston.


Copyright 2020 GBH

Mike Deehan