Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from WBUR's daily morning newsletter, WBUR Today. If you like what you read and want it in your inbox, sign up here.
It's Veterans Day. Here's a reminder of how the holiday differs from Memorial Day — and a list of restaurants that offer military discounts or free meals for veterans. Several of the chains have stores in Greater Boston. To honor veterans, Massachusetts leaders made parking free for everyone today at all state parks. Lastly, Radio Boston will host a special Veterans Day hour; tune in at 11 a.m.
To the news:
With the narrow passage of Question 1 this week, the so-called "millionaire's tax" will soon be official in Massachusetts. For the first time, the state's constitution will be amended to change the state's annual flat income tax system of 5% to a tiered one that taxes any portion of income that exceeds $1 million at 9%. So... now what?
- The new surtax begins in the 2023 tax year. So, even if you make more than $1 million, the surtax won't apply to your next tax filing. (The state's Department of Revenue is still working to figure out how exactly the tax will be assessed on earnings for 2023 and beyond.)
- Once it starts, policy analysts say the new tax is expected to bring in over $1 billion a year, earmarked for public education and transportation. However, state lawmakers ultimately choose which specific initiatives get those funds. Two top supporters of the tax change on Beacon Hill did hint at their intentions during a press conference Thursday. State Sen. Jason Lewis said he's confident the money will be used to ensure the landmark K-12 school funding bill passed in 2019 is "fully" implemented, make public colleges more affordable and improve MBTA service. State Rep. Jim O'Day also suggested the money could help make universal pre-K a reality in Massachusetts.
The bids on the bus go down and down: After Transdev, the current Boston Public Schools bus vendor, emerged as the sole bidder for the district's new school bus contract, it appears likely they'll be selected for another five years — despite the frequent and heavily criticized delays. The company's current contract with BPS began in July of 2013 and ends next summer; the school committee is expected to vote to approve the contract as soon as January.
- Zoom out: WBUR's Carrie Jung has been reporting on how the diminishing competition in the state's school bus industry has left districts with few options as they face rising bus costs and frustrated calls from parents over route delays. The lack of competition has forced some districts, like Worcester, to take bus service in house this school year.
An arts space in Dorchester has been saved by the artists themselves. In partnership with New Atlantic Development, the artists currently renting the space closed on Humphreys Street Studios in early November for $2.8 million. The acquisition was made possible with nonprofit financing, as well as $1.7 million from the city of Boston, WBUR's Amelia Mason reports.
- Why is this space important to the artists collective? Humphreys Street artist Cristina Todesco told Mason the deal offers hope to other Boston artists at risk of displacement. (The mission-driven developer who was part of the deal plans to build housing on the property’s empty back lot.)
PSA: Red Line shuttle buses will again replace train service from Ashmont up to Broadway this weekend. That means riders coming up to Boston from the Braintree branch will have to hop on a shuttle between JFK/UMass to Broadway (or switch to the commuter rail to South Station).
Is inflation slowing down holiday shopping? Not likely, according to the Retailers Association of Massachusetts. The group released a report Thursday that forecast a 10% increase in local holiday shopping sales this year. But with inflation hovering around 8%, the association says it actually leaves little room for error or increased profit.
- If you want your dollars to benefit the local economy, RAM President Jon Hurst says to "commit to investing a good portion of [your] spending budgets right here in our communities."
P.S.— A museum in western Massachusetts has returned items to descendants of survivors of an infamous event. Do you know what it is? Then take our Boston News Quiz and test your knowledge of the stories we covered this week.