MTF In The News

Immigrant students in Massachusetts seek in-state tuition

Feb 9 2015

By Elizabeth Ronan, Masslive

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation projects that granting in-state tuition rates to immigrant students illegally living in the state would directly benefit fewer than 1,000 students and that state colleges and universities would gain money due to increased enrollment.
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Worried about state budget cuts? Next year may be worse

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Feb 9 2015

By Shira Schoenberg, Masslive

The administration has not yet estimated the size of that gap. But Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-oriented fiscal policy group, estimated that the Baker administration will face a $1.5 billion gap between the revenues that are coming in and the amount of money needed to maintain current services. "It's a significant gap," McAnneny said.
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Area homeowners see increase in property tax bills

Feb 7 2015

By Gary Tuoti, Taunton Daily Gazette

“An increase is typical because of the nature of Prop 2½,” explained Carolyn Ryan, a policy analyst with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “As assessed values go up, rates might go down, but that doesn’t mean the bill is going down.”
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Group forecasts bleak financial future

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Feb 6 2015

By Jason Protami, South Coast Today

“I think the long-term issue is one of the most significant facing municipalities in Massachusetts,” said Carolyn Ryan, assistant director of policy and research for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “It’s something where these costs are going to continue to build over time and are going to erode resources available for other important services.
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Business leaders patient as snow, red ink occupy Baker

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Feb 6 2015

By Jon Chesto, The Boston Globe

Ash will also continue a tradition from the Patrick administration of holding regular, closed-door meetings with representatives from key business groups that include the Greater Boston Chamber, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Baker budget fix features $514M in spending cuts

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Feb 4 2015

By Gintautas Dumcius and Michael Norton , State House News Service / Nashoba Publishing

Eileen McAnneny, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said Baker's plan is "probably the most reasonable way to go forward." Because the plan relies on one-time solutions, she said, a structural deficit looms in fiscal 2016, which starts in July. Baker's proposed fiscal year 2016 budget -- his first as governor -- is due by March 4.
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Spending cuts, new revenue included in Gov. Charlie Baker's 2015 budget fix

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Feb 3 2015

By Shira Schoenberg, Masslive

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Eileen McAnneny said given the difficulty of cutting spending mid-year, a proposal that includes a mix of spending and revenue seems like a "reasonable solution."
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Gov. Baker Eyes Capital Gains Tax Revenues To Fix Budget Gap

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Feb 2 2015

By Steve LeBlanc, AP / WBUR

Andrew Bagley, director of research and public affairs for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said at the time that he believed only $122 million in capital gains taxes would be available for deficit reduction.
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Agreement reached on 4.8 percent revenue growth forecast

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Jan 30 2015

By Gintautas Dumcius, State House News Service / WWLP

The governor has been focused on developing a fix anticipated early next week for an estimated $765 million deficit in the fiscal 2015 budget. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation projected tax revenues for fiscal year 2015 would come in $95 million above the revised consensus revenue estimate, a 4.4 percent increase for the year.
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Western Mass. Lawmakers Weigh In On State Budget Gap

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Jan 26 2015

By Jim Levulis, WAMC

After November’s election, Patrick’s administration said the state was facing was a $329 million budget gap. A month later, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimated the budget gap was $750 million, a number strongly refuted by the Patrick administration.
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BAKER SAYS DEFICIT IS $765 MILLION

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Jan 26 2015

By Bob Katzen, The Lowell Sun

Gov. Charlie Baker said his aides have crunched the numbers and he projects a $765 million budget deficit for the current fiscal year that ends June 30. That is considerably more than the $329 former Gov. Deval Patrick predicted prior to leaving office. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation's estimate is even higher. It recently predicted a $1 billion deficit.
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Baker: Health care biggest driver of $765M budget gap

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Jan 26 2015

By Andy Metzger, State House News Service / The Lowell Sun

In December, Patrick's secretary of administration and finance, Glen Shor, disputed an analysis by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation alleging a deficit significantly larger than the $329 million problem flagged by Patrick's team right after the November elections.

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Analysts expect state budget woes to continue

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Jan 22 2015

By Bob Salsberg, AP / South Coast Today

"It's alarming that even with employment gains and a healthier economic climate, the state faces a monumental budget shortfall in fiscal 2015 and substantial challenges in 2016," said Andrew Bagley, director of research and public affairs for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed fiscal watchdog group.
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Experts: Growth will mean $1B more in taxes for budget

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Jan 22 2015

By Matt Murphy, State House New Service / WWLP

Andrew Bagley, research director of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, projected that tax revenues this year, which are trending $18 million below estimates, would come in $95 million above benchmarks by the end of the year, representing 4.4 percent growth. For fiscal 2016, Bagley estimated a similar 4.5 percent rate of growth, or $1.1 billion, for a total of $25.5 billion in tax revenues.
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Economists anticipate moderate growth in Massachusetts tax revenue next year

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Jan 22 2015

By Shira Schoenberg, Masslive

But the additional revenue does not mean budget writers will have an easy job. Andrew Bagley, director of research and public affairs for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, warned that increases in spending for Medicaid, pensions and retiree health care, along with spending for debt owed through the MBTA and School Building Authority "will consume most, if not all, of the $1.1 billion in new tax revenues."

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Baker Says Massachusetts Faces Large Budget Gap

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Jan 22 2015

By Paul Tuthill, WAMC

After Baker’s election last November, the administration of former Gov. Deval Patrick revealed the state was facing a budget gap which was projected at $329 million. A month later, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimated the budget gap at $750 million, which was strongly refuted by the Patrick administration.
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If economy is humming, why does Mass. show a deficit?

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Jan 22 2015

By Joshua Miller, The Boston Globe

“If we had really robust revenue growth on a great recovery, some of these problems disappear,” said Andrew C. Bagley, who directs research at the Taxpayers Foundation. “But we haven’t seen it.”
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Playing the hand he was dealt

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Jan 22 2015

The Lowell Sun

Baker's figure is in line with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a nonpartisan research group, which has warned for months that Patrick's numbers significantly underestimated the severity of the situation.
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Obamacare costs could boost $765M budget deficit

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Jan 21 2015

By Matt Stout, The Boston Herald

“That’s the big unknown that they might not be able to get their hands on until mid- to late March,” said Andrew Bagley of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, adding that the state could “easily” have at least 100,000 more enrollees in Medicaid than it budgeted for when enrollment wraps Feb. 15.
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Baker cites $765 million budget shortfall

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Jan 20 2015

By Joshua Miller, The Boston Globe

Andrew C. Bagley, who directs research at the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said there is “no way” the administration will be able to find $765 million “in new revenues and fees.
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Will Charlie Baker’s Management Skills Be Enough?

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Jan 20 2015

By Mara Dolan, WGBH

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (MTA), which generally opposes tax increases, supported the gas tax indexing and for good reason. Then MTA President Michael Widmer said, in an interview last fall for The Republican, “They’re going to find out quite quickly they don’t have enough money to fund basic maintenance of roads and bridges, never mind expansion.”
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A fiscal diplomat

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Jan 19 2015

The Lowell Sun

Widmer, 75, recently retired from the research group. For more than two decades, he kept state leaders, legislators and business people on their toes. He scrutinized state budgets with a fiscally conservative bent, and backed up MFA's analyses with calm and credible force.
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Things to know about the state's budget shortfall

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Jan 17 2015

By Bob Salsberg, AP / Taunton Daily Gazette

Baker insists the deficit is a “spending problem,” and that the state must tighten its belt. The taxpayers foundation projected $525 million in unanticipated spending, with the potential of up to $300 million in additional Medicaid costs related in part to a breakdown in the state’s health connector website.
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Things to know about the Massachusetts budget shortfall

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Jan 17 2015

AP / The Boston Herald

The independent Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, in a December analysis, pegged the deficit in the $1 billion range. Baker, in his Jan. 8 inaugural address, said he anticipated the deficit to exceed $500 million, with the new administration trying to nail down a more precise estimate.
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Editorial: For Baker, election glow ends quickly

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Jan 15 2015

The Daily News

“The size of this shortfall is typically connected to a recession, where revenues just plummet,” said Andrew Bagley, director of research and public affairs for the Taxpayers Foundation. “But this is highly unusual because we’re in the middle of a recovery and the economy appears to be doing quite well.”
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Baker, lawmakers say local aid is safe in face of budget crisis

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Jan 14 2015

By Christian Wade, The Daily News

ndrew Bagley, director of research and public affairs with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a nonprofit fiscal watchdog group, said the governor faces “painful cuts” to shore up the budget gaps. “The size of this shortfall is typically connected to a recession, where revenues just plummet,” Bagley said.
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Why Mass. Has A Large Budget Gap — And What Could Be Done About It

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Jan 14 2015

By Asma Khalid, WBUR

Bagley and his team at the taxpayers foundation insist the deficit is closer to $750 million. (Previously, his organization calculated a deficit around $1 billion, but proposals from the Patrick administration in November (see below) reduced that figure by $250 million.)
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Norwood budgets to tackle growing OPEB deficit

Jan 12 2015

By Gary Tuoti, Norwood Transcript

“I think the long-term issue is one of most significant facing municipalities in Massachusetts,” said Carolyn Ryan, assistant director of policy and research for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “It’s something where these costs are going to continue to build over time and are going to erode resources available for other important services.
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Gov. Charlie Baker talks budget with Rosenberg, DeLeo; Size of deficit still unclear

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Jan 12 2015

By Shira Schoenberg, Masslive

As Baker takes office, the first issues he must deal with are budgetary. He enters office facing a deficit. Former Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, said the budget gap was $329 million, and he unilaterally cut around $200 million. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has said the gap could be as high as $750 million.
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Governor Baker puts freeze on state hiring

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Jan 9 2015

By Frank Phillips, The Boston Globe

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a watchdog group that monitors fiscal issues, has estimated the state has a $750 million midyear deficit, even after the Patrick administration cut the $36.5 billion budget by $250 million late last year.
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Baker orders hiring freeze, eyes budget deficit

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Jan 9 2015

By Matt Stout, The Boston Herald

Baker said in his inaugural speech that he expects a mid-year budget deficit to be above a half-billion dollars. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has pegged the hole to be as high as $750 million, though former Gov. Deval Patrick’s aides had disputed that estimate.
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Baker budget chief says state 'bleeding' money

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Jan 8 2015

By Michael Norton and Andy Metzger, State House News Service / MassLive

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation last year estimated the deficit at about $750 million after accounting for Patrick's spending cuts, an estimate that Patrick budget chief Glen Shor disputed. "I think that the estimate that the Mass. Taxpayers Foundation issued is a credible number.
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Baker is bracing to face a budgetary baptism of fire

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Jan 8 2015

By Joshua Miller, The Boston Globe

“The choices will be very difficult. Many worthy causes will be disappointed,” said Michael J. Widmer, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. While it will be hard for Baker, “I think there are enormous opportunities to improve how government manages itself,” Widmer said. “The circumstances will make that imperative.”
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Tax cut coming Jan. 1

Jan 7 2015

By Gary Tuoti, SouthCoast Today

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation projects a total state budget deficit of more than $1 billion.
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December tax collections up by 10 percent

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Jan 6 2015

By Michael Norton, State House News Service / Nashoba Publishing

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimated a larger budget gap, prompting Patrick's budget chief Glen Shor to dispute the foundation's assumptions.
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Baker: RMV bribery case is example of ‘broken’ fed immigration policy

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Jan 5 2015

By Matt Stout, The Boston Herald

Baker said he expects the deficit, while pegged at roughly $330 million by the Patrick administration, to be “certainly north of $500 million.” Other analysts, including the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, have estimated it could go as high as $750 million.

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Carbon tax could be tough sell on Beacon Hill

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Jan 4 2015

By Jay Fitzgerald, The Boston Globe

“The idea of a ‘carbon tax’ opens up a huge public policy question involving hundreds of moving pieces,” said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed fiscal watchdog group. “It won’t happen overnight. It will take a lot of time and a lot of debate to convince people.”
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Looming budget shortfall tops to-do list as Legislature heads to work

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Jan 4 2015

By Bob Salsberg, AP / The Lowell Sun

The new chair of the budget-writing panel will immediately become a key player in negotiations to close a deficit for the fiscal year ending July 1 that Patrick's administration has estimated at $329 million, but has been pegged at up to $1 billion by the independent Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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First Task For Baker Is To Close Budget Gap

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Jan 2 2015

By Paul Tuthill, WAMC

Widmer, who has run the business-backed fiscal watchdog organization for more than 20 years, estimates the total budget gap is $1 billion. "The ( Patrick) administration has taken steps to address about $250 million of that billion, so that would leave a hole of about $750 million," said Widmer.
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Mass. tax rate takes slight dip

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Jan 1 2015

By Joshua Miller, The Boston Globe

It is important to follow the will of the voters, “but there are serious consequences from a budgetary point of view,” said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. The drop in revenue contributes to a significant budget gap — estimated by some outside specialists at a whopping $750 million — that Charlie Baker will face when he becomes governor on Jan. 8.
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Gov. Patrick to adjust state legislators’ base pay

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Dec 29 2014

By Tiffany Chan, WWLP

“The only problem is the delay in the data so governor have had to figure out how to do that and there has been no consistent approach,” said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer.
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In managing economy, Baker needs a long view

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Dec 28 2014

By Megan Woolhouse, The Boston Globe

That’s because many of the economic forces at work are broad, complex, and ultimately outside a governor’s control — such as a recession, said Michael Widmer, president of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “A governor is largely, in the short term, the prisoner of the national economy,” Widmer said.
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Tax cut coming New Year's Day

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Dec 27 2014

By Gary Tuoti, SouthCoast Today

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation projects a total state budget deficit of more than $1 billion.
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Outgoing Mass.Taxpayers Foundation President Warns Of Big Budget Deficit

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Dec 24 2014

By Paul Tuthill, WAMC

Michael Widmer, a long time Beacon Hill fiscal watchdog will retire early next year. Widmer has run the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation for 23 years. The group recently issued a controversial analysis of the state’s budget deficit and an annual report on Massachusetts municipal finances.
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Saltonstall building sale could net state $90 million, governor's aide says

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Dec 23 2014

By Andy Metzger, State House News Service / MassLive

Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor disclosed the estimate while disputing the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation's analysis that the budget hole is $750 million after Patrick's $250 million in spending cuts. Shor is standing by the administration's forecast of a current roughly $70 million budget gap, according to a spokeswoman.
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Mass. Taxpayers Foundation: Budget Shortfall Closer To $1 Billion, Could Lead To Cuts

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Dec 22 2014

By Lydia Emmanouilidou, WGBH

“We’ve gone through the numbers carefully. There’s some shortfall in [non-tax] revenues and there’s going to be an income tax cut beginning January 1, but mostly there are spending deficiencies,” Widmer told WGBH News. Widmer's estimate also takes into consideration the $250 million in savings and spending cuts Patrick has made in recent weeks.
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PR can’t make Gov. Patrick legacy pretty

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Dec 22 2014

By Julie Mehegan, The Boston Herald

Then last week the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation pegged the deficit at somewhere closer to $1 billion, a problem that will be left to Gov.-elect Charlie Baker to solve. It’s as if the Beacon Hill way-back machine has rocketed us straight back to 1990, when departing Gov.
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State income tax cut will cause state budget shortfall

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Dec 22 2014

By Gary Tuoti, The Herald News

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation projects a total state budget deficit of more than $1 billion.
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Editorial: Off-kilter exit

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Dec 21 2014

The Worcester Telegram

To be sure, Mr. Patrick hasn't denied that the fiscal 2015 budget is out of balance, and weeks ago pointed to an estimated $329 million gap, which he addressed by making several emergency spending cuts. But should MTF's estimates be accurate, Massachusetts will be facing a budget gap three times as large as Mr. Patrick estimated just a month ago.
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State worker-insurance program is running at least $120M short

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Dec 20 2014

By Andy Metzger, State House News Service / The Lowell Sun

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation last week predicted $100 million in needed GIC spending as part of its estimated $1 billion budget deficit. Administration and Finance Secretary Glen Shor has disputed portions of the MTF analysis and maintains the budget shortfall is about $330 million.
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Study: State budget deficit estimated at $1B

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Dec 18 2014

By Kaitlin Goslee, WWLP

New research from Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and suggests the state’s budget deficit is roughly $1 billion for this current fiscal year, which is about three times what state officials are estimating.
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Benefits liability hangs over budgets

Dec 18 2014

By Gerry Tuoti and William J. Dowd , Wicked Local

“I think the long-term issue is one of most significant facing municipalities in Massachusetts,” said Carolyn Ryan, assistant director of policy and research for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “It’s something where these costs are going to continue to build over time and are going to erode resources available for other important services.
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Business Group Warns Of Bigger Mass. Budget Shortfall

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Dec 17 2014

By Paul Tuthill, WAMC

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation projects the state is facing a $750 million budget deficit --a figure strongly disputed by the Patrick administration, which insists the mid-fiscal year gap is much smaller. Michael Widmer, president of the MTF, said Baker will face tough choices right after taking office.
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Group says Massachusetts faces $1B deficit

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Dec 17 2014

AP / The Lowell Sun

The analysis released Wednesday by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation forecasts a $288 million shortfall in revenue and $525 million in spending obligations not included in the budget which runs through June 30. The organization also said the state faces at least $180 million in temporary Medicaid costs resulting from a breakdown of the state's health insurance exchange.
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Mass. shortfall is closer to $750m, tax group warns

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Dec 17 2014

By Joshua Miller, The Boston Globe

A massive $750 million shortfall, larger than previously estimated, will confront Governor-elect Charlie Baker when he takes office next month, potentially forcing him to make unpopular cuts as he begins his term, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Baker says heroin crisis is among early priorities

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Dec 17 2014

WCVB

Baker said Tuesday that jump-starting the state's stalled medical marijuana rollout would also be an early priority, as would addressing a state budget gap estimated at $329 million by outgoing Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick's administration but even larger by the independent Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Governor Deval Patrick’s hits and misses

Dec 17 2014

By Shirley Leung, The Boston Globe

When all is said and done,under Deval Patrick, businesses collectively pay at least $150 million more annually in taxes, according to Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick's term included effective investments, management failures, observers say

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Dec 17 2014

By Shira Schoenberg, Masslive

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the result of that effort shows the "disconnect between his focus and his vision on the one hand and the funding to support it on the other." Widmer called Patrick's transportation record a "disappointment." He said Patrick's decision to promote an income tax increase that was "dead on arrival" in the legislature resulted in
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Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation names new president

Dec 10 2014

By Eric Convey, Boston Business Journal

McAnneny, a public policy expert, to advance MTF role as a non-partisan voice on fiscal and economic issues across the Commonwealth
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Reception to GOP tax amnesty plan mixed

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Dec 10 2014

By Marie Szaniszlo, The Boston Herald

Michael J. Widmer, outgoing president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said in many cases, businesses, like some individuals, don’t pay their taxes because they dispute their assessment. “The amnesty is a chance to reach an agreement and collect revenues which might otherwise never be received or only after a long period,” Widmer said in an e-mail yesterday.
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Public-policy veteran tapped to lead tax foundation

Dec 10 2014

By Michael Norton, State House News Service / The Lowell Sun

Eileen McAnneny, a veteran of public policy battles on Beacon Hill and a longtime advocate for business interests, will succeed Michael Widmer as president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Mass. Taxpayers Foundation names Eileen McAnneny new head

Dec 9 2014

By Jon Chesto, The Boston Globe

McAnneny will replace Michael Widmer, who said in May that he would retire after 22 years of leading the high-profile organization. Widmer said a search committee consisting of several board members, led by Karen Green of the law firm WilmerHale, reviewed a strong pool of candidates before picking McAnneny.
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Cops still roll in detail dough

Dec 8 2014

By Richard Weir, The Boston Herald

“Police details are expensive, which is why there have been efforts, largely futile, to move towards less expensive civilian flaggers,” said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “But that experiment has largely failed. The reality is that police details are built deeply into the fabric of Massachusetts government and taxpayers pay a price for that.
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Pay raises recommended for governor, legislative leaders

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Dec 8 2014

By Bob Katsen, The Lowell Sun

Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, told Beacon Hill Roll Call that each governor has had to improvise to estimate what the figures would be for that second year and have sometimes been way off.
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Karyn Polito says new Health Connector website shows 'promising results'

Dec 5 2014

By Shira Schoenberg, Masslive

Polito's prepared remarks, provided by her spokesman, referred to a shortfall of "$500 million to $600 million or more." Asked where the $700 million figure came from, Polito referred to the estimate by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation's Michael Widmer and said Widmer placed the deficit somewhere around "five, six, seven hundred million dollars."
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Medicaid reforms pitched as way to help balance state’s budget

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Dec 4 2014

By Chris Cassidy, The Boston Herald

The report comes as the incoming Baker administration prepares to face down a budget deficit that the Patrick administration has pegged at $329 million, but that others, including the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, believe could be much more.
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Report outlines savings for state budget buster

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Dec 3 2014

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service / The Lowell Sun

While the Patrick administration has proposed ways to close a projected $329 million shortfall in the current state budget, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer has suggested that Baker could inherit a larger problem in January due, in part, to exposures in the MassHealth budget.
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Gov conditionally supports big raises for top state jobs

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Dec 2 2014

By Gintautas Dumcius and Matt Murphy, State House News Service / The Lowell Sun

Widmer, the head of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and a member of the commission, noted that he has repeatedly said the $329 million budget shortfall identified by the governor "understates" the problem, and the incoming governor will likely have to make his own cuts.
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Worcester holding breath over possible state aid cuts

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Dec 1 2014

By Nick Kotsopoulos, Worcester Telegram & Gazette

He said the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimates that the state's budget deficit could be closer to $500 million, in large part because of unrecognized health care costs.
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Commission: Raise pay for Massachusetts governor, House speaker, Senate president

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Dec 1 2014

By Shira Schoenberg, Masslive

"We're making a strong recommendation they not add to the spending in any way," said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and a member of the committee. "It's an infinitesimal amount in the context of a $36 billion budget, but we've said specifically increases should be subsumed in existing budgets."
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Patrick, Baker differ on pay raise recommendations

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Dec 1 2014

By Gintautas Dumcius and Matt Murphy, State House News Service / The Lowell Sun

Widmer, the head of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and a member of the commission, noted that he has repeatedly said the $329 million budget shortfall identified by the governor "understates" the problem, and the incoming governor will likely have to make his own cuts.
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Top lawmakers mum on proposed pay hike as anti-tax activist threatens lawsuit

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Dec 1 2014

By Shira Schoenberg, Masslive

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and a member of the compensation advisory committee, said the problem with that method is median income information is only available a year later. So the governor has to estimate that information. "We put a specific proposal in place that ties the change to currently available data," Widmer said.
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Taxpayers react to a proposal calling for governors salary hike

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Dec 1 2014

By Yoojin Cho, WWLP

Under a state panel’s proposal, Massachusetts governor would become the second highest paid governor in the country. Michael Widmer from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said, “That’s difficult politically, but from a fiscal point of view it’s not really an issue.”
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Charlie Baker unlikely to OK hike for lawmakers

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Dec 1 2014

By Hillary Chabot, The Boston Herald

“The Legislature will have to decide, and when Baker takes office he will have to decide whether this is the right time,” said Michael Widmer, the outgoing head of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. He also sits on the commission, which is chaired by Ira A. Jackson, a University of Massachusetts Boston dean.
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Potential pay raises for state lawmakers

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Dec 1 2014

By Tiffany Chan, WWLP

“Obviously in an atmosphere of tight budgets, 9C cuts, it makes it more difficult,” said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer.
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Budget Battle Looms

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Nov 30 2014

By Jon Keller, WCVB

Michael Widmer is retiring after 22 years as president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “The new governor and his administration will have to determine just how bad it is or isn’t,” Widmer said.
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Charlie Baker: It’s ‘not the time’ for House pay increases

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Nov 27 2014

By Matt Stout, The Boston Herald

But with Baker just weeks from assuming the Corner Office, it’s likely he could be stuck with making more cuts to close the gap, which one taxpayer watchdog group, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, has said could be as much as $600 million.
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Charlie Baker’s new budget chief inherits a ‘hornet’s nest’

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Nov 25 2014

By Matt Stout, The Boston Herald

“It’s a real hornet’s nest,” Michael J. Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said of the 300,000 people the state put on its temporary rolls as it sorted out its dysfunctional Health Connector website. “It could be as much as several hundred million dollars. That’s why ... this is going to be priority No. 1. It has to be.
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Panel mulls pay hikes for governor, other top pols

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Nov 24 2014

By Bob Salsberg, AP / South Coast Today

"It becomes a scapegoat for the public's resentment of government and taxes," said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and one of seven members of the commission.
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OUR OPINION: What were they thinking?

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Nov 22 2014

Wicked Local

Worse, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation says the budget gap could rise still more – $500 to 600 million more – by July. Local aid to cities and town would take a devastating $25.5 hit which would likely require cuts to police and fire, snow removal, and administrative resources.

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Patrick, facing shortfall, proposes $329m in cuts

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Nov 20 2014

By Bruce Mohl, CommonWealth

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation is also predicting the deficit for the current fiscal year could run into the $500 to $600 million range. Shor said the Patrick administration had not consulted with Gov.-elect Charlie Baker on the cuts and had no immediate fallback position in case the Legislature balked at some of the proposals.
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Deval Patrick proposes cuts to local aid as part of $329 million in Massachusetts budget reductions

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Nov 20 2014

By Shira Schoenberg, Masslive

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a think tank that deals with fiscal issues, estimates that the budget gap is even larger – $500 million to $600 million. Andrew Bagley, director of research and public affairs for the foundation, said that estimate is based on factors like the rate of corporate tax settlements and costs for health and retirement benefits for employees and retirees.
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Governor orders cuts to close budget shortfall

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Nov 20 2014

By Bob Salsberg, AP / South Coast Today

Andrew Bagley, director of research and public affairs for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, an independent budget watchdog, said he was surprised by the proposed local aid reduction.
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Deval Patrick plans to slash $66M from aid to cities, towns

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Nov 20 2014

By Matt Stout, The Boston Herald

Andrew Bagley of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation noted lawmakers have “never historically decided to go for” cuts to local aid.
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Governor proposes $329 million in midyear state budget cuts

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Nov 20 2014

By David Scharfenberg, The Boston Globe

But the problem could be larger than the Patrick administration’s estimates. Andrew Bagley, director of research and public affairs at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which tracks state finances, said the true budget gap could be $500 million to $600 million.
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Patrick proposes $25.5M local aid cut

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Nov 20 2014

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service / The Lowell Sun

Andrew Bagley, research director at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the foundation continues to believe that the budget gap could be wider than projected by the Patrick administration, citing Group Insurance Commission, state retirement fund and one-time tax settlement exposures that could push the shortfall closer to $500 million or $600 million before next July.
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My Turn: Why are conservatives so frightened by ObamaCare?

Nov 17 2014

By Davy Jones, The Examiner

Would you believe Forbes Magazine (a conservative publication)? If so, you should know that in 2012, Forbes quoted Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers foundation, an independent watchdog agency, as having said, “I think it has been a huge success. Romney should be proud of it. It has been one of the biggest policy achievements in this state over the last 25 years.”
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Judge's retirement deal comes under fire

Nov 14 2014

AP / The Sun Chronicle

But Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer says it "illustrates the all-too-common problem of stretching the system for personal gain at taxpayers' expense."
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Voters aren’t against taxes; they’re against unfairness

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Nov 13 2014

By Renée Loth, The Boston Globe

Some 300,000 residents were shifted onto a “temporary’’ Medicaid plan when the state’s health exchange rollout collapsed, and it isn’t clear when the federal government will reimburse the state or for how much. “The state could be on the hook for hundreds of millions” in that fiasco, said Michael Widmer, director of the Massachusetts Taxpayers’ Foundation.
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Judge profited, despite his absence from bench

Nov 13 2014

By Andrea Estes, The Boston Globe

However, taxpayer watchdogs criticized Johnson’s work this year as a waste of scarce resources. “Whatever the rationale in this particular case,” said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation president Michael Widmer, “it illustrates the all-too-common problem of stretching the system for personal gain at taxpayers’ expense.”
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Transportation advocates worry Massachusetts gas tax indexing repeal will delay needed road and rail projects

Nov 11 2014

By Shira Schoenberg, Masslive

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a fiscal policy think tank, said the impact of the repeal will be huge. "There's is no way that many of the long-term projects that the Patrick administration has on the table can now be funded," Widmer said.
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Widmer: Patrick budget fix plan might not be enough

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Nov 7 2014

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service / Nashoba Publishing

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer said he wasn't surprised by the shortfall. "Our calculation is that it's at least $500 million, so I think this is clearly a positive step to try to achieve a balance budget and it's important to do it earlier rather than later and leave it to an incoming governor from a calendar standpoint," he said.
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Lawmakers wait to hear Gov. Patrick’s plan to fill the budget gap

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Nov 7 2014

By David McKay, WWLP

Just two days after elections, the Patrick Administration held a briefing to discuss the shortfall in the state’s 36.5 billion dollar budget. However, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation is worried cutting $325 million may not be enough.
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Baker returns to cities where he campaigned hard, but lost

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Nov 7 2014

By Janet Wu, WCVB

But he said he's looking into reports of a $325 million deficit when he takes office. "I think one of the things we want to do as part of our transition process is get a sense for what the hole really looks like," said Baker, who once served as Administration and Finance secretary. Baker said he wonders if it is closer to $500 million which has been cited by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Gov. Deval Patrick planning to make cuts to address $325 million budget shortfall

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Nov 6 2014

By Matt Murphy, MassLive / State House News Service

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer said he wasn't surprised by the shortfall. "Our calculation is that it's at least $500 million, so I think this is clearly a positive step to try to achieve a balance budget and it's important to do it earlier rather than later and leave it to an incoming governor from a calendar standpoint," he said.
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Transit officials say repeal could cost $1b over decade

Nov 6 2014

By Nicole Dungca, The Boston Globe

Michael J. Widmer, president of the Taxpayers Foundation, who helped campaign against the repeal, said the vote could have serious long-term consequences for transportation funding that was given a boost last year.

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Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick about to leave center of Bay State's political spotlight

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Nov 4 2014

By Andy Metzger, MassLive / State House News Service

"All of the focus switches to the incoming governor, and everybody trying to position him or herself," said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer, who witnessed the process firsthand in the Sargent administration and the first Dukakis administration. He said, "Almost everybody wants something."
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2 Perspectives On Question 1: Eliminating Massachusetts Gas Tax Indexing

Oct 28 2014

By Sacha Pfeiffer, Radio Boston

Michael Widmer: “This is a traditional form of taxation, namely adjusting it to inflation…When you get a cost of living increase, you pay more in income tax… This happens to be tied to cents rather than percents, but the distinction is meaningless. This is a very common form of taxation.
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Martha Coakley's comments on graduated income tax criticized by taxpayer watchdogs

Oct 24 2014

By Garrett Quinn, Masslive

"Amending the state’s constitution and adding to the tax burden of middle and higher income taxpayers, including businesses that pay personal income taxes, would pose one more disincentive to job creation in the state," said Widmer while testifying before the commission.
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Sorry state of Mass. roads costs drivers $8.3B a year

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Oct 22 2014

By Andy Metzger, State House News Service / The Enterprise

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer and AAA Southern New England Director of Public and Legislative Affairs Mary Maguire, who are both vocal opponents of Question 1, spoke at TRIP’s press conference held in a Beacon Hill office building.
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