Revenue Sharing Central


Cities and towns across the state are facing severe fiscal challenges. As the following resources point out, a strong state-local partnership is required to restore the fiscal health of cities and towns and protect the future of Massachusetts.


“Cities and Towns Build Our Economic Future: Investing in Our Communities for Fiscal Stability, Growth, and Prosperity”



In January 2008, the MMA produced an informational video/television program that presents the compelling case for a comprehensive state tax revenue-sharing policy. The program features interviews with key local leaders as well as leading economists, all of whom recognize the fiscal crisis facing cities and towns, and the critical importance of local fiscal health to the sustainability of the state’s economy and quality of life.

The MMA is providing this program as a valuable resource tool for local use in educating the public and community leaders on the need for revenue sharing.

Download the ACTION STEPS for local officials to take in order to broadcast and promote "Cities and Towns Build Our Economic Future" in your community (28K PDF)

Download transcript of “Cities and Towns Build Our Economic Future” (164K PDF)

• To order your free copy of this program on DVD, call the MMA or use our online form.

Revenue-Sharing Partnership Plan “A Revenue Sharing Partnership Plan to Build a Stronger Massachusetts”
A report published by the MMA in October 2007 calls for a comprehensive state tax revenue-sharing policy to address the revenue needs of all cities and towns, reduce reliance on the property tax, and provide a reliable framework to invest in essential municipal services. “Communities have increased their reliance on the regressive property tax to a 25-year high, eliminated or reduced important services, depleted reserves, and are projecting major structural deficits for fiscal 2009 and beyond,” the report states. “Unless communities and the state form a stronger fiscal partnership, anchored by revenue sharing and increased local aid, this distress will grow into a widespread fiscal crisis.”
Download MMA “Revenue Sharing Partnership Plan” (400K PDF)
Revenue Sharing and the Future of the Mass. Economy “Revenue Sharing and the Future of the Massachusetts Economy”
A major economic study authored by Northeastern University’s Center for Urban and Regional Policy and published by the MMA concludes that increasing the fiscal capacity of cities and towns is central to economic success in Massachusetts. The comprehensive report, published in January 2006, concludes that communities must be provided with major local aid increases in order for Massachusetts to attract businesses and economic development, compete for jobs, and retain young workers and families.
Download the MMA/Northeastern revenue sharing report (4.5M PDF)
Partnership principles “Our Communities and Our Commonwealth: Partners for Progress and Prosperity”
In December 2006, the MMA delivered a special report to the incoming Patrick administration highlighting the priorities that the MMA and local leaders identified as essential to renew the state’s communities and economy. The report identifies “10 Partnership Principles for a Stronger Commonwealth.”
Download “Our Communities and Our Commonwealth” (480K PDF)
States and Their Cities “States and Their Cities: Partnerships for the Future”
A 2007 report from the the Fannie Mae Foundation examines the relationship between states and their cities and the impact of state activity on municipalities. “States that ignore the economic well-being of their cities risk falling behind,” the report states.
Download Fannie Mae’s “States and Their Cities” report (432K PDF)
Boston Bound “Boston Bound: A Comparison of Boston’s Legal Powers with Those of Six Other Major American Cities”
A February 2007 report by The Boston Foundation makes clear that the state’s capital city cannot continue to effectively compete with other major cities without additional “home rule” authority, including municipal taxing authority. The fundamental reasoning behind the report applies to all cities and town in Massachusetts.
Download “Boston Bound” (860K PDF)
State-Local Relationship “The Dynamic between Municipal Revenue Sources and the State-Local Relationship in New England”
This analysis, written for the New England Public Policy Center’s third annual conference in December 2007, shows that – compared with the nation as a whole – municipal governments in New England rely very heavily on the property tax. They also have limited or no access to local-option revenues such as sales taxes, and they rely less on fees and other non-tax sources.
Download “State-Local Relationship in New England” (1.2M PDF)