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Massachusetts

Economic Outlook Rank: 35th
Economic Performance Rank: 18th
35th

Economic Outlook Rank

Current Economic Outlook (2020)

From the 2020 edition of Rich States, Poor States. These values are the most recent available at the time of publication.
Policy Value Rank
5.00% 18th
8.00% 36th
(change in tax liability per $1,000 of income) $2.93 17th
(per $1,000 of personal income) $36.55 38th
(per $1,000 of personal income) $13.66 9th
(per $1,000 of personal income) $11.35 2nd
Yes 50th
$1.72 43rd
8.70% 44th
(full-time equivalent) 494.3 13th
(tort litigation treatment, judicial impartiality, etc.) 69.6 28th
(federal floor is $7.25) $12.75 48th
(per $100 of payroll) $1.37 13th
(option to join or support a union) No 50th
1 14th

Economic Outlook Trends Charts

The y-axis for these charts is the actual year of the data, rather than the year of the corresponding publication year.

Top Marginal Personal Income Tax Rate

This variable includes local taxes, if any, and any impact of federal deductibility, if allowed. A state’s largest city is used as a proxy for local tax rates. Data were drawn from Tax Analysts, Federation of Tax Administrators and individual state tax return forms. Tax rates are as of January 1, 2020.

Top Marginal Corporate Income Tax Rate

This variable includes local taxes, if any, and includes the effect of federal deductibility, if allowed. A state’s largest city is used as a proxy for local tax rates. In the case of gross receipts or business franchise taxes, an effective tax rate is approximated using NIPA profits, rental and proprietor’s income and gross domestic product data. For an explanation of the estimation of Texas’ franchise tax, see note below. The Texas franchise tax is not a traditional gross receipts tax, but is instead a “margin” tax with more than one rate. A margin tax creates less distortion than a gross receipts tax. Therefore, we believe the best measurement for an effective corporate tax rate for Texas is to average the 4.656% measure we would use if the tax was a gross receipts tax and the 0.75% highest rate on its margin tax, leading to our measure of 2.70%. Data were drawn from Tax Analysts, Federation of Tax Administrators, individual state tax return forms and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Tax rates are as of January 1, 2020.

Personal Income Tax Progressivity (change in tax liability per $1,000 of income)

This variable is measured as the difference between the average tax liability per $1,000, at incomes of $50,000 and $150,000. The tax liabilities are measured using a combination of effective tax rates, exemptions, and deductions at both state and federal levels, which are calculations from Laffer Associates. Tax rates are as of January 1, 2020.

Property Tax Burden (per $1,000 of personal income)

This variable is calculated by taking tax revenues from state and local property taxes per $1,000 of personal income. We have used U.S. Census Bureau data, for which the most recent year available is 2017. These data were released in October 2019.

Sales Tax Burden (per $1,000 of personal income)

This variable is calculated by taking tax revenues from state and local sales taxes per $1,000 of personal income. Sales taxes taken into consideration include the general sales tax and specific sales taxes. We use U.S. Census Bureau Data, for which the most recent year available is 2017. Where appropriate, gross receipts or business franchise taxes, counted as sales taxes in the Census data, are subtracted from a state’s total sales taxes in order to avoid double-counting tax burden in a state. These data were released in October 2019.

Remaining Tax Burden (per $1,000 of personal income)

This variable is calculated by taking tax revenues from state and local taxes—excluding personal income, corporate income (including corporate license), property, sales and severance per $1,000 of personal income. We use U.S. Census Bureau Data, for which the most recent year available is 2017. These data were released in October 2019.

Recently Legislated Tax Changes

This variable calculates each state’s relative change in tax burden over a two-year period (in this case, the 2018 and 2019 legislative sessions) for the next fiscal year, using revenue estimates of legislated tax changes per $1,000 of personal income. Personal income data are drawn from 2018. This timeframe ensures that tax changes will still be reflected in a state’s ranking despite lags in the tax revenue data. ALEC and Laffer Associates calculations use raw data from state legislative fiscal notes, state budget offices, state revenue offices and other sources, including the National Conference of State Legislators.

Debt Service as a Share of Tax Revenue

This variable calculates interest paid on state and local debt as a percentage of state and local total tax revenue. This information comes from 2017 U.S. Census Bureau data. These data were released in October 2019.

Public Employees Per 10,000 of Population (full-time equivalent)

This variable shows the full-time equivalent state and local public employees per 10,000 of population. This information comes from 2018 U.S. Census Bureau data. These data were released in June 2019.

State Liability System Survey (tort litigation treatment, judicial impartiality, etc.)

This variable ranks tort systems by state. Information comes from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform 2019 Lawsuit Climate Survey.

State Minimum Wage (federal floor is $7.25)

This variable indicates minimum wage enforced on a state-by-state basis. If a state does not have a minimum wage, we use the federal minimum wage floor of $7.25 per hour. This information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, as of January 1, 2020.

Average Workers’ Compensation Costs (per $100 of payroll)

This variable highlights the 2018 Workers’ Com- pensation Index Rate (cost per $100 of payroll). This survey is conducted biennially by the Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services, Information Management Division.

Tax Expenditure Limits

This variable measures the influence of tax and expenditure limits on state tax revenue and spending. States are ranked by the number of state tax or expenditure limits in place. We measure this by i) a state expenditure limit, ii) mandatory voter approval of tax increases and iii) a supermajority requirement for tax increases. One point is awarded for each type of tax or expenditure limitation a state has. This information comes from the National Association of State Budget Officers, American Enterprise Institute and other sources.

Economic Outlook Trends Data (2008 - 2020)

Years correspond to the year of the Rich States, Poor States publication, not the actual year of the data. In some cases the data is significantly behind the publication's year.
Policy 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
5.30% 5.30% 5.30% 5.30% 5.25% 5.25% 5.20% 5.15% 5.10% 5.10% 5.10% 5.05% 5.00%
9.50% 9.50% 9.50% 8.25% 8.00% 8.00% 8.00% 8.00% 8.00% 8.00% 8.00% 8.00% 8.00%
(change in tax liability per $1,000 of income) $2.53 $2.92 $2.92 $3.11 $3.08 $3.08 $3.05 $3.02 $2.99 $2.99 $2.99 $2.96 $2.93
(per $1,000 of personal income) $37.63 $37.45 $35.17 $35.33 $36.87 $39.71 $37.94 $37.28 $36.59 $37.62 $37.02 $36.69 $36.55
(per $1,000 of personal income) $14.35 $12.55 $12.98 $12.41 $11.76 $14.15 $14.05 $13.86 $13.66 $14.09 $14.00 $13.89 $13.66
(per $1,000 of personal income) $12.66 $11.50 $11.05 $10.70 $11.62 $11.94 $11.72 $11.87 $12.02 $12.59 $12.56 $11.87 $11.35
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
-$0.61 $0.61 $1.65 $2.04 $4.62 $0.69 $0.64 $0.62 $0.00 -$0.173973 $0.51 $2.32 $1.72
12.80% 13.30% 13.60% 13.70% 14.60% 13.30% 10.80% 10.90% 10.18% 8.92% 8.90% 8.60% 8.70%
(full-time equivalent) 515.9 516.2 527.8 493.4 502.2 486.9 486.9 482.8 488.78 497.19 493.4 478.9 494.3
(tort litigation treatment, judicial impartiality, etc.) 65.7 63.5 63.5 65.6 65.6 66.3 66.3 66.3 67.8 67.8 72.1 72.1 69.6
(federal floor is $7.25) $7.50 $8.00 $8.00 $8.00 $8.00 $8.00 $8.00 $9.00 $10.00 $11.00 $11.00 $12.00 $12.75
(per $100 of payroll) $1.70 $1.39 $1.39 $1.54 $1.54 $1.37 $1.37 $1.17 $1.17 $1.29 $1.29 $1.37 $1.37
(option to join or support a union) No No No No No No No No No No No No No
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
18th

Economic Performance Rank

Overview (2020 Edition)

Metric Value Rank
Cumulative GDP Growth, 2008 - 2018 46.6% 6th
Cumulative Domestic Migration, 2009 - 2018 -125,348 41st
Non-Farm Employment Growth, 2008 - 2018 10.39% 16th

Charts (2020 Edition)

State Gross Domestic Product

Growth, year-over-year

Absolute Domestic Migration


Non-Farm Payroll Employment

Growth, year-over-year

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