Campaign for Budget Transparency

IMPROVING TRANSPARENCY, IMPROVING ACCOUNTABILITY—The ability to see how government collects and spends money is fundamental to a thriving, participatory democracy.

Let The Public Follow the Money

Public budgets are the most concrete expression of public values and priorities—articulated in dollars and cents. As states grapple with difficult decisions to make budgetary ends meet, opening the state checkbook to the public provides an important tool that allows both citizens and civil servants to make informed choices.

Unfortunately, too often public subsidies, tax breaks or special deals are granted to powerful corporate interests at the taxpayers’ expense. When this happens, Massachusetts residents are stuck with the tab, or public resources and services end up threatened.

Transparency in government spending checks corruption, promotes fiscal responsibility and allows for greater, more meaningful participation in our democratic system.

MASSPIRG is working to make all government spending and budgeting fully transparent, on an easy-to-use and comprehensive website.

While the Commonwealth has made significant improvements since we started our campaign in providing public access to state spending and revenue on the Transparency Massachusetts website, even earning an A in our Following the Money 2015 report,  there is still more to do, including providing more budget information on all quasi-public agencies, tax expenditures, and municipalities, as well as access to all contracts.

Issue updates

Media Hit | Budget, Tax

City faulted on spending transparency

New report grades trancparency Boston's spending. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Budget, Tax

Transparency In City Spending

New report reviews and grades the nation’s thirty largest cities including Boston on how effectively they allow the public to track budgets, contracting, subsidies, grants and requests for quality-of-life services.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Budget, Tax

Transparency In City Spending

The report reviews and grades the nation’s thirty largest cities including Boston on how effectively they allow the public to track city spending - including budgets, contracts, subsidies, and grants. 

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Media Hit | Tax

Look offshore to avert the fiscal cliff

There are better ways to use $150 billion than having it sit in a P.O. box in the Caymans. With the fiscal cliff on the horizon, closing offshore tax loopholes should be an obvious first step to solving our budget woes.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Budget, Tax

First Step to Avoid the Fiscal Cliff: Close Offshore Tax Loopholes

With Congress scrambling to agree on ways to reduce the deficit, MASSPIRG joined with business, legislative and community leaders today to point out a clear first step to avoid the “fiscal cliff”: closing offshore tax loopholes. Many of America’s largest corporations and wealthiest individuals use accounting gimmicks to shift profits made in America to offshore tax havens, where they pay little to no taxes.  This kind of tax avoidance costs the federal government $150 billion in tax revenue each year.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Democracy, Tax

Thirty Companies Contribute $41 Million to 524 Members of Congress, Receive $10.6 Billion in Tax Rebates

A new report released Wednesday, March 21st by MASSPIRG Education Fund and Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) found that thirty tax dodging corporations have made campaign contributions to 524 (98%) sitting members of Congress, and disproportionately to the leadership of both parties and to key committee members

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Budget, Tax

Ryan Budget a Windfall for Special Interests, Devastating to Public Priorities

Statement of MASSPIRG Legislative Director on the Federal FY 2013 budget proposed by Chairman Paul Ryan (Wisconsin) of the House Budget Committee.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Budget, Tax

New Report: Massachusetts Receives an “A-” in Annual Report on Transparency of Government Spending

“Massachusetts has moved to the head of the class when it comes to providing the public with easy-to-use, one-stop, comprehensive and timely information about how government spends our tax dollars,” said Deirdre Cummings, Legislative Director of MASSPIRG.

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Media Hit | Budget, Tax

Boston Herald - Tug of war over TJX

Under a proposed 20-year agreement that would give TJX a big break on property taxes, the off-price retailer would move 1,600 employees from offices at 500 Old Connecticut Path in Framingham and Westboro to two buildings it plans to buy at 300 and 400 Puritan Way in Marlboro.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Budget, Tax

Amendment Passes to Crack Down on Offshore Tax Cheats

Statement of MASSPIRG’s Deirdre Cummings on the passage of the U.S. Senate Amendment 1818, introduced by Senators Levin, Conrad, and Whitehouse to the Transportation Bill.

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Report | Budget, Higher Ed

Easy Money

Over the last three decades, higher education has become an even greater necessity for all Americans. Our citizens know that the key to economic success for them and their children is to invest in education.

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Report | Budget

Major League Steal

The Red Sox are proposing to construct a 44,130 seat stadium on 15 acres of land adjacent to the present Fenway Park. The Owners of the Red Sox are poised to seek a minimum of $250 million in state and local taxpayer subsidies for the $600 million plus project.

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