January 27th Information &
Resource Update
Governor Files Proposed FY23 State Budget, Tax Relief Proposals

The Governor yesterday filed his Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) budget proposal, a $48.5 billion plan which represents an increase of approximately 0.5% above FY22 expenditures, excluding transfers to the Medical Assistance Trust Fund.

Alongside the budget proposal, the Administration is filing a $700 million tax proposal intended to provide relief for housing and childcare costs, and eliminate the income tax for certain low-income taxpayers, among other provisions.

Tax Proposal

The Governor's tax proposal filed alongside the FY23 budget, H.4361 "An Act to Improve Massachusetts' Competitiveness and Reduce the Cost of Living," includes $700 million in tax reduction initiatives. The legislation proposed to:
  • Double the maximum Senior Circuit Breaker Credit to lower the overall tax burden for more than 100,000 lower-income homeowners aged 65+
  • Increase the rental deduction cap from $3,000 to $5,000
  • Double the dependent care credit to $480 for one qualifying individual and $960 for two or more, and double the household dependent care credit rate to $360 for one qualifying individual and $720 for two or more to benefit more than 700,000 families
  • Increase the Massachusetts adjusted gross income (AGI) thresholds for “no tax status” to $12,400 for single filers, $24,800 for joint filers, and $18,650 for head of households
  • Double the estate tax threshold and eliminate the current “cliff effect” that taxes the full amount below the threshold
  • Change the short-term capital gains tax rate to 5%

Click here to access the full text of the Governor's proposed tax legislation.

Proposed FY23 State Budget Overview

The proposed FY23 budget is based on the $36.915 billion consensus tax revenue estimate, which anticipates a 2.7% growth in total collections over revised FY22 tax estimates. The Governor's proposed budget, titled House 2, recommends a total of $48.5 billion in authorized spending and transfers, excluding the Medical Assistance Trust Fund transfer, which is approximately 0.5% above FY22.

The House 2 budget includes a $749 million increase to the Stabilization Fund, which, in combination with projected FY22 transfers, will grow the fund to $6.64 billion by the end of FY23.

The proposed budget includes among other provisions:

  • Increases Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by $31.5 million to a total of $1.2 billion
  • $6 million for Community Compact related programs, an increase of $2.4 million
  • $4.8 million for the Public Safety Staffing Grant Program managed by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security
  • $3 million for district local technical assistance

  • $4 million for the Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program
  • $7.5 million for the Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Grant program
  • $17.9 million in total funding across the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and DESE for the Career Technical Initiative
  • $10 million for a new direct appropriation supporting the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center
  • $2.5 million for Advanced Manufacturing Training
  • $16.9 million in total funding to continue transforming vocational high schools into Career Technical Institutes running three shifts per day to provides pathways to high-demand vocational trade careers
  • $16.2 million for the YouthWorks Summer Jobs Program

  • $80 million for the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), which will support a permanent benefit limit increase to $7,000 over 12 months, versus $4,000 pre-pandemic
  • $56.9 million is recommended for HomeBASE, including an increase to the maximum benefit from $10,000 over one year to $20,000 over two years
  • $213.2 million for the Emergency Assistance family shelter system
  • $85 million in funding for Local Housing Authorities
  • $83.3 million, a $25.4 million (44%) increase above the FY22 GAA, for Homeless Individual Shelters
  • $12.5 million for the DMH Rental Subsidy Program
  • $8.2 million for Housing Consumer Education Centers
  • $5 million to continue a model to create new housing opportunities with wraparound services for chronically homeless individuals

  • $1.512 billion in total budget transfers for the MBTA
  • $456 million for MassDOT, including $95 million for snow and ice operations and $3.4 million to support implementation of new funds provided through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
  • $94 million for Regional Transit Authorities
  • $11.6 million for the Merit Rating Board

  • $3.7 million for climate change and adaptation preparedness
  • $1.3 million to expand the Swim Safe Massachusetts program to enhance and promote water safety

  • $802 million in funding for the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), including $693.7 million in funding for income-eligible and DCF- and DTA-related childcare, which incorporates $53.9 million to annualize the implementation of a more equitable parent fee scale intended to improve childcare affordability

  • $20 million for targeted DESE college and career pathway programs, including Early College, Innovation Pathways, and Dual Enrollment programs
  • $30 million for other initiatives aligned with the recommendations of the Governor’s Black Advisory Commission (BAC) and Latino Advisory Commission (LAC)
  • $3.9 million to the Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) to ensure accountability and compliance with diversity goals, oversee agency diversity spending, and audit and review spending data

  • An increase of $591.4 million to fully fund the Student Opportunity Act, including $485 million in Chapter 70 funding
  • A $41 million increase over FY22 for special education circuit breaker reimbursement for cities and towns
  • A $64.8 million increase in charter school reimbursement funding
  • $31.1 million for college and career pathway programs for high school students
  • $1.45 billion for college readiness, affordability, and degree completion; this funding includes $155 million in financial aid grants, including $18 million to support an expansion of the MASSGrant Plus program

  • $17.811 billion gross / $7.169 billion net for MassHealth, including $115 million to expand outpatient and urgent behavioral health services, as well as an increase of $21 million to expand the Medicare Savings Program
  • $13.4 million to support approximately 4,500 families who provide foster care

To access the Governor’s filing letter, budget message, and specific account information click here. The Governor's proposal represents an early step in the development of the Commonwealth's FY23 budget. The respective Ways and Means Committees for the state House and Senate will each produce their own proposals, which in turn will be adopted by their respective chambers. Differences between the House and Senate budgets will then be reconciled in a conference committee, before being returned to each chamber for an up-or-down vote. The Governor then has the option to sign or veto specific line items, which the Legislature in turn may override.
Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail Line to Return to Normal Seasonal Weekday Schedule Effective January 31st

Effective Monday, January 31st, the MBTA Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail line will resume operating on the regular weekday Winter Schedule. Service had been reduced to a "Winter Adjusted Schedule" due to staffing constraints; workforce availability has improved sufficiently to resume normal service. No changes will be made to current weekend service. Click here for details regarding the Framingham/Worcester line schedule.
Full Application Now Open: Community One Stop for Growth Program

The Full Application for the Community One Stop for Growth program's FY23 round is now open. Communities and entities seeking funding from a variety of grant programs can now begin work on applications. The Community One Stop for Growth is a single application portal and collaborative review process of community development grant programs that make targeted investments based on a Development Continuum. This process streamlines the experience for the applicant and better coordinates economic development programs and staff on engagement and grant making.

Key FY23 Program Dates
  • Full Application Open: January 21st, 2022
  • Webinars: Tuesday, February 1st - February 8th (details below)
  • Full Application Submissions Open: May 2nd, 2022
  • Full Applications Close: June 3rd, 2022
  • Review & Evaluation: June-September, 2022
  • Notification of Award: October/November 2022
  • Anticipated Contracting: November/December 2022

Program Webinars 
Three webinars will be made available to applicants prior to submitting any application materials, covering an overview of the Community One Stop for Growth, reframing a grant application for the One Stop, and using the Agate technology platform:
  • Webinar 1: One Stop Overview Webinar, Tuesday, February 1st, 10:00 AM; click here to register
  • Webinar 2: One Stop Application Guidance Webinar, Thursday, February 3rd, 10:00 AM; click here to register
  • Webinar 3: Technology Webinar, recording to be posted on Tuesday, February 8th
It is recommended that all applicants watch all three webinars before submitting a One Stop Expression of Interest.

Expressions of Interest
The Expression of Interest (EOI) is a form that allows an applicant to seek guidance from EOHED and partner agencies. The EOI is optional but highly encouraged. Each organization may submit one EOI form for the FY23 Round. All EOI forms may include up to two project proposals, however forms submitted prior to 11:59 PM on February 4th, 2022 may include a total of five projects.

Once the EOI is submitted, staff at all partner agencies will review the submissions and provide guidance and insight to strengthen applications. Applicants may also be referred to other available programs that are not fully integrated into the One Stop application. Applicants may also request a meeting to review their priority projects with EOHED.

The EOI period is now open and will close March 18th, 2022.
MAPC: Technical Assistance Program Accepting Project Concepts

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is soliciting ideas for projects that will commence in the winter and spring of 2022 through their Technical Assistance Program (TAP), a funding program that assists municipalities in implementing projects that are beneficial to the community. Although there is no specific deadline for the submission of project concepts, MAPC encourages that proposals be submitted by January 31st.

TAP can fund a diverse range of individual community-specific projects and multi-community projects. Project concepts that promote regional collaboration and serve multiple communities, advance racial equity in the region, promote COVID recovery, seek to implement multifamily requirements for MBTA communities under Housing Choice, or otherwise advance the goals and objectives outlined in the new regional land use and policy plan MetroCommon 2050 will receive preference.

MAPC staff will work with municipalities to determine the best funding source for each project; most projects are funded in the $25,000 to $60,000 range.

Project concept proposals are intended to be brief, and should be written in accordance with the instructions outlined in the Call for Project Concepts memo. Municipalities should contact Ralph Willmer, TAP Manager and Principal Planner at [email protected] for questions concerning the application process or the status of a submitted project.
495/MetroWest Partnership to Host Presentation
on Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program

The Energy and Sustainable Development Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership will host representatives from MassDevelopment to present on the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program on Tuesday, February 15th at 8:30 AM. This event will take place virtually via Zoom; click here to register.

PACE is a new mechanism to finance energy improvements, such as energy-efficiency projects, renewables, and gas line extensions on commercial and industrial properties in Massachusetts. To finance improvements, a property owner agrees to a betterment assessment on their property, which repays the financing. This approach enables owners to undertake more comprehensive energy upgrades with longer payback periods of up to 20 years. At property sale, the lien stays with the property and is transferred to subsequent property owners. Properties eligible for financing through PACE include commercial buildings, industrial buildings, and multi-family buildings with five or more units. Individual municipalities may opt into PACE one time by a majority vote of the city or town council or the board of selectmen, as appropriate.

Following the presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions of MassDevelopment representatives. For more information on the PACE program, click here.
Your Feedback Sought: Proposed 2022-2027 Strategic Plan
for the 495/MetroWest Partnership

The 495/MetroWest Partnership's Board of Directors will consider a new five-year Strategic Plan for the organization at its March 2022 quarterly meeting. We are pleased to present a draft of the new plan, along with opportunities for stakeholders to provide feedback before the plan comes before the Board for formal action.

The Partnership is actively seeking feedback on our draft 2022-2027 Strategic Plan before it is formally adopted by the Board of Directors at their March meeting. The Partnership has created multiple avenues for any interested stakeholder to offer feedback on the 2022-2027 Strategic Plan:

  • (TOMORROW) Participate in our Strategic Plan Presentation & Discussion: The Partnership will host a virtual presentation and discussion of the new Strategic Plan tomorrow, Friday, January 28th, 2022 at 8:30 AM. This event will take place virtually via Zoom; click here to register. Participation is open to any interested stakeholder, and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and offer feedback.

  • Submit feedback via email: Feedback or questions may be submitted to Executive Director Jason Palitsch at any time via email, at [email protected]
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you:
Jason Palitsch, Executive Director
(774) 760-0495 x105

Thank you for your continued commitment to strengthening our region.