There shall be established, pursuant to section 2A of chapter 4 of the General Laws, a tax revenue fairness and implementation commission to study the federal, state and local tax laws applicable to residents of the commonwealth. The commission shall review and evaluate the impact of the federal tax code on Massachusetts with particular focus on the changes made by Congress in U.S. Public Law 115-97; update the 2014 Massachusetts Tax Fairness Commission’s report, and develop further action steps to implement the recommendations contained therein; determine the level of structural deficit, if any, that exists due to insufficient revenue; and suggest new revenue sources or increases to existing revenue sources. The commission shall examine the experiences and policy efforts of other states relating to tax fairness and equity.
The commission shall file a report with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives not later than 9 months after the establishment of said commission. The report shall include, but not be limited to: (i) the total amount of taxes currently paid by individuals at various income levels; (ii) the effects that changes to tax laws would have on individuals of all income levels; (iii) the changes in revenue collected by the commonwealth as a result of recent federal tax law revisions; (iv) the adequacy of revenue generated by individuals, businesses and any other tax types; (v) tax rates necessary to fund required investments in public infrastructure and education; (vi) tax rates necessary to promote prosperity for all residents; (vii) the impact of restrictions on tax rates under Article XLIV of the Amendments to the Constitution; (viii) recommendations for changes in laws to achieve an equitable and adequate system of taxation; (ix) the best practices of other states; (x) tax rates necessary to ensure economic competitiveness with peer and competitor states; (xi) tax rates necessary to avoid destabilization of household budgets or undue hardships for citizens; and (xii) tax rates necessary to foster and encourage robust private sector investment in capital equipment and the state’s work force.
The commission shall consist of the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on revenue or the chairs’ designees, who shall serve as co-chairs of the commission; the secretary of administration and finance or the secretary’s designee; the commissioner of the department of revenue or the commissioner’s designee; the minority leader of the house of representatives or a designee; the minority leader of the senate or a designee; the chairs of the house and senate committees on ways and means or the chairs’ designees; a representative of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center; a representative of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation; a representative from the Massachusetts Municipal Association; a representative from the Boston Foundation; a representative from the Massachusetts Society of Enrolled Agents; a representative from the Massachusetts Society of CPAs; a representative who works in a Low Income Tax Clinic, appointed by the speaker; a representative who works with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, appointed by the speaker; 1 member to be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives; 1 member to be appointed by the president of the senate; and 3 members to be appointed by the governor, at least 1 of whom shall represent labor and 2 of whom shall have expertise in economics or tax policy.
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