A Guaranteed Income for Massachusetts

Report by Trevor Mattos and Luc Schuster, Phineas Baxandall, Madeline Neighly
July 22, 2020

Boston Indicators   (Boston)

This brief describes the problem of how the economy has failed to deliver for far too many households. It urges adoption of five key reforms to the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit so that it provides all families earning up to $70,000 a cash credit of at least $1,200 a year. The reforms would:
1.    Increase the state match rate from 30 to 50 percent of the federal EITC.
2.    Provide a minimum $1,200 credit to extremely low-income and no-income households.
3.    Extend income eligibility to include middle-income families (with annual household income up to $75,000).
4.    Expand eligibility to previously excluded groups (e.g., unpaid caregivers, immigrants who pay taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).
5.    Increase the impact of the EITC by expanding access to free tax preparation services and providing more frequent payments.

It goes on to describe the potential impacts of the new measures, how the state would pay for them, and case studies of policies from around the United States.