Today, Representative Sánchez co-chaired the FY19 Consensus Revenue Hearing with Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Karen Spilka and the Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, Michael Heffernan. The purpose of this annual hearing is to solicit testimony from experts in the fields of state finance and revenue. The hearing is the first step in reaching a consensus tax revenue forecast to be used to craft a responsible fiscal year 2019 budget.
Here are a few highlights:
- Department of Revenue (DOR): There was weak revenue growth in FY17, however, it seems to be stabilizing in FY18 to moderate but steady growth.
- The state of the economy is good, but there is significant volatility in some types of taxes, and risks presented by federal actions and state ballot questions.
- According to DOR, the US is nine years into a modest recovery with low inflation and improving employment, but if central banks raise interest rates to combat emerging inflation, that could slow.
- Federal action on taxes and health care could have adverse consequences on our state economy and on individual taxpayers.
- According to DOR, Massachusetts is $204M over benchmark through November 2017.
- According to DOR, our state unemployment rate was 3.7% in October 2017.
- Regarding ballot questions:
- The sales tax ballot question would reduce revenue by $630M in FY19 and by $1.5B in FY20.
- The potential benefits of the “millionaire’s tax” would be $1.9B in FY20
Please see below for documents submitted by those testifying today.