MTF In The News

Home values begin to rebound

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Mar 2 2014

By Brenda J. Buote, The Boston Globe

In its 43d annual Municipal Finance Data report, released in January, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation found that spending on pensions, employee and retiree benefits, and debt service grew 23 percent between fiscal years 2007 and 2012, while all other spending grew just 10 percent. “With modest revenue growth at best, funding for schools, public safety, and other services will be sacrificed in order to pay for the unaffordable obligations taken on by cities and towns over the past decades,” Widmer said.
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Tax Fairness Commission recommends graduated income tax

Feb 26 2014

By Colleen Quinn, State House News Service / The Daily News

Before they opted not to take a single vote on the entire report, Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said he planned to vote against the final report, largely because of the graduated income tax recommendation.
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Massachusetts Tax Fairness Commission to recommend lowering state income taxes for the poor, increasing them on the wealthy

Feb 26 2014

By Shira Schoenberg, The Republican

“The problem with those proposals is they pose a larger tax on the very individuals who are making decisions about where to build their businesses, whether in Massachusetts or other states,” said Michael Widmer, a committee member and president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “The only solution to the dilemma facing Massachusetts is to create jobs, and this would undercut the creation of jobs and be counterproductive toward the overall goal of a more competitive Massachusetts economy.”
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Editorial: As retiree health costs loom, towns need tougher reforms

Feb 24 2014

The Boston Globe

Many Massachusetts residents know that public pension liabilities pose a serious fiscal threat. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation reminds everyone that the unfunded retiree health care liabilities of cities and towns, which now stands at $30 billion, is more than double the unfunded pension liability.
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Patrick whiffs on anti-privatization law

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Jan 24 2014

By Scot Lehigh, The Boston Globe

No one has a hard estimate for how much could be saved by letting private companies compete for the right to deliver more state services, but Sullivan believes that, at a minimum, it would be $100 million a year. Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, thinks that over time, those savings could grow to hundreds of millions annually.
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Patrick seeks 5% spending increase in final budget plan

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Jan 23 2014

By Matt Murphy and Michael Norton, State House News Service / The Daily News

“This is largely a steady as you go, straight-forward, no-frills budget,” said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer, who said the bulk of revenue increases for fiscal 2015 would go toward Medicaid, debt service and pensions.
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Patrick Unveils Budget Plan: A Boost for Education, Taxes for Soda and Candy

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Jan 22 2014

By Sarah Birnbaum, New England Public Radio

Overall, the governor’s budget would increase funding by about 5 percent over last year’s levels. Widmer says most of the increase will go to fixed costs like Medicaid, debt service and pensions. "There’s not a lot of money to play around with…maybe $400 or $500 million of discretionary dollars," he says. "So, not a lot in a $35 to $40 million budget."
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Patrick Unveils Less Ambitious $36.4 Billion Budget

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Jan 22 2014

By Sarah Birnbaum, WGBH

The proposal would not increase local aid for cities and towns. But Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer says legislators are unlikely to go along with that. “It’s an election year," he said. "I think you’ll see a little boost in municipal local aid."
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Governor boosts child welfare agency in proposed budget

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Jan 22 2014

By Matt Stout, The Boston Herald

“It’s largely a maintenance, no-frills, steady-as-you-go budget,” said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “I think the problem is he didn’t have the revenues to do much else. On the tax increase, I think he made the correct judgment that it wouldn’t have any better chance this year, maybe even less chance in an election year. ...
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15 comments Gov. Deval Patrick's $36.4 billion budget increases education funding, level funds aid to cities and towns

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Jan 22 2014

By Shira Schoenberg, The Republican

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, called it a "straight-forward, steady-as-you-go, no frills budget."
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Patrick reveals FY2015 budget plan

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Jan 20 2014

By Sharman Sacchetti, Fox news

"There would be no real tax increase in the budget, in fact because of the formula that was instituted a decade ago, the income tax is going to go down slightly, from 5.25 to 5.2 percent, so no tax increases in this budget broad based," said Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. On the proposal to revive a sales tax on candy and soda, Widmer said, "The legislature's not likely
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Editorial: Facing reality in Boston

Jan 16 2014

The Providence Journal

A report this month from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-oriented oversight group, underlines the severity of the problem across Massachusetts. Pension costs and health care for current and retired municipal employees continue to squeeze local budgets: Those costs grew 23 percent from 2007 to 2013.

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Major agreements reached before state budget debate

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Jan 15 2014

By Matt Murphy, State House New Service / The Enterprise

Though the recovery has been slower than after past recessions, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer urged budget writers in December to consider pushing up the date to fully fund the pension system as an overture to bond rating agencies, which control the cost of borrowing.
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Clash of the commuter rail titans

Jan 8 2014

By Gabrielle Gurley, CommonWealth Magazine

The MassDOT board will have to carefully consider the parameters that a new rail operator must meet under a longer initial contractual period of eight years versus five years under the current agreement.
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Town and city budgets squeezed

Jan 8 2014

By Jim Hand, The Sun Chronicle

The cost of pensions, health care and debt is squeezing out funding for other municipal services and causing cities and towns to lay off workers, according to a report by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. The foundation found that municipal spending on those three budget-busting areas jumped 23 percent from 2007 to 2012, while spending on everything else went up only 10 percent.
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Budget gaps threatening communities

Jan 8 2014

By Thor Jourgensen, The Daily Item

A taxpayer oversight group warned cities and towns face “a long-term budget squeeze” threatening to overtake efforts by municipal budget makers in Lynn, Marblehead and other communities to balance property tax money with careful spending on health care, pensions and debt.
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Cities, towns struggle to keep up with rising health, pension costs

Jan 8 2014

By Lane Lambert, The Patriot Ledger

The business-backed foundation’s 43rd annual municipal financial data report shows that total revenue and spending by the state’s 351 municipalities grew to $23.4 billion in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, while the total workforces have lost almost 15,000 employees since 2007.
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Report says unfunded costs choking budgets in Mass.

Jan 8 2014

By Bob Salsberg, AP / The Boston Globe

Municipalities face nearly $45 billion in unfunded liabilities, according to the report by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, an independent, business-backed organization. Meeting those responsibilities could divert resources from schools, public safety, and other services, the group warned.
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Report Blames Pensions,Debts For Squeezing Municipal Budgets

Jan 7 2014

By Paul Tuthill, WAMC

15,000 municipal jobs have been eliminated in Massachusetts since 2007. The state’s cities and towns have cut the total workforce by 6 percent. In a new report released this morning, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation says municipalities are in a financial squeeze because of rising pension costs and increased debt.
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Pensions, health care, debt service croaking cities, towns

Jan 7 2014

By Michael Norton, State House New Service / Nashoba Publishing

"Spending on employee and retiree benefits will consume an ever larger share of municipal budgets for the foreseeable future as municipalities face nearly $45 billion in unfunded liabilities," MTF President Michael Widmer said in a statement released to the News Service.
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Fiscal Troubles Forecast for Massachusetts Cities and Towns

Jan 7 2014

By Susan Kaplan, New England Public Radio

The group's president, Michael Widmer says the unaffordable obligations have already forced layoffs and will cut into spending on public safety and education. Widmer supports legislative mandates to reform retiree health care benefits. "We're not suggesting that those benefits be taken away," Widmer says. "Rather, we're focusing on eligibility for example for future retirees."
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Massachusetts municipal revenues up slightly, but overshadowed by pension and health benefit obligations, study finds

Jan 7 2014

By Shira Schoenberg, The Republican

Municipal revenues are growing, but not by enough to offset growth in cities and towns' obligations for pensions, retiree health care and debt service, according to a new study by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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REPORT ON MUNICIPAL FINANCES:

Jan 7 2014

Cape Code Today

Improved revenue collections in fiscal 2013 were not sufficient to put a dent in major unfunded municipal pension, retiree health care and debt service burdens, according to a report marked for release Tuesday morning.
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2013's Top ten political stories

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Dec 29 2013

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service / Cape Code Today

Under intense pressure from groups like the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and the Massachusetts High Technology Council and the threat of a 2014 ballot question to repeal the tax, Gov. Deval Patrick and Legislative leaders relented, and in the process admitted that perhaps they had not understood the full economic picture and impact of the tax when they included it in their financing package.

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State's unemployment figure exceeds nation's

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Dec 20 2013

By Andy Metzger, State House News Service / Daily News

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation this month estimated that Massachusetts will add 53,000 jobs in fiscal 2015, which would represent the largest annual jump in employment since 2000.
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Modest Revenue Growth Forecast For Massachusetts Budget

Dec 12 2013

By Paul Tuthill, WAMC

Michael Widmer, President of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation told a Statehouse hearing Wednesday that his group forecasts a 4.7 percent increase in tax revenues…or about $1 billion. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue projects similar growth.
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Economic growth could net $1B for state

Dec 12 2013

By Marie Szaniszlo, The Boston Herald

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation urged the governor to use the extra cash to stabilize the pension system and warned the economy could slow again next year and transportation costs could add up fast.
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Experts See Modest Revenue Growth In Mass.

Dec 12 2013

By Bob Salsberg, AP / The Street

Michael Widmer, president of the independent Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the group's forecast called for tax revenues to grow by 4.7 percent in the fiscal year that begins July 1. But he cautioned that the less than robust economic recovery means the next budget will be another challenging one.
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Experts See Rising Tax Collections In Mass.

Dec 11 2013

By Michael Norton and Matt Murphy, State House News Service / WBUR

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimates state tax revenues will grow by 4.7 percent in fiscal 2015, a rate of growth that the foundation said was below the rates of previous economic recoveries. MTF estimates fiscal 2014 tax collections will reach $23.27 billion, or $470 million above the forecast used to build the state budget.
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Modest revenue growth expected for Massachusetts budget

Dec 11 2013

WCVB

Michael Widmer, president of the independent Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, told a Statehouse hearing that his group was forecasting 4.7 percent growth in tax revenues in the fiscal year starting July 1. But he said most of the growth would be eaten up by non-discretionary costs such as Medicaid and pensions.
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Lawmakers told of revenue increases as budget looms

Dec 11 2013

By John J. Monahan, The Worcester Telegram

Those projections were similar to the forecast offered by Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. The organization said it expects state revenues to grow by about 4.7 percent to $24.37 billion in fiscal 2015, producing about $1.1 billion in revenue growth for the state. Despite an improving economic picture, the 2015 budget will challenge lawmakers once again, Mr.
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Widmer challenges state budget writers

Dec 11 2013

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

With a slow but steady economic recovery expected to pump at least $1 billion in new revenue into state coffers next fiscal year, House and Senate lawmakers and the Patrick administration were urged Wednesday to consider building a truly balanced budget that doesn't rely on one-time money or reserve funds.

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Mass. Officials Expect Modest Economic Growth Next Year

Dec 11 2013

By Sarah Birnbaum, WGBH

The group Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation says most of the projected growth would be eaten up by mandatory costs such as Medicaid and pensions.

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Higher tax collections, modest growth predicted FY15

Dec 11 2013

By Christine Lee, WWLP

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer cautioned that the projected rise in revenue is less than in past economic recoveries that grew by 6 to 7 percent. They say most of the money will be quickly absorbed by current spending obligations.

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Immigrant students push for equal tuition rates

Dec 11 2013

By Christine Lee, WWLP

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimates under 1,000 students annually would be affected by the legislation. They also say the state would gain rather than lose money because the bill would encourage students to attend school who would otherwise be unable to afford it.

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Property-tax bills climbing across region

Dec 8 2013

By Grant Welker, The Lowell Sun

"As local aid falls, property taxes are really the only recourse communities have to raise revenues," said Carolyn Ryan, a policy analyst at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "You're seeing increased pressure on municipal budgets."
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New state guidelines may end pension perk

Dec 8 2013

By Lyle Moran, The Lowell Sun

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said he hopes the state Legislature acts to put an end to anyone being able to secure pension credit for time they did not work, even if they now will be required to pay a nominal amount for that time. "Clearly, there should be a legislative fix," Widmer said.
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STATE HOUSE ROUNDUP: A time to pause and give thanks

Dec 3 2013

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service / Plympton Reporter

“Any claim that that money isn’t for transportation is simply not true,” Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer said in a quote gleefully circulated by transportation advocates and ignored by gas-tax-indexing foes.
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Tiny cut in Massachusetts income tax expected in new year

Dec 3 2013

By Dan Ring, The Republican

Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said his organization is anticipating that the .05 percent cut in the income tax will take place on Jan. 1. "It seems like a virtual certainty," Widmer said.
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To rail, or not to rail? Answer likely lies outside SouthCoast

Dec 1 2013

By Ariel Wittenberg, SouthCoast Today

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, agreed. "It's not a value judgment on the project itself, it's the fact that it costs $2 billion," he said.
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Law contradicts activists’ claims about Mass. gas tax use

Nov 26 2013

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service / Cape Code Times

“Any claim that that money isn’t for transportation is simply not true,” said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer. “As you well know, the transportation financing law had a lot of moving pieces, but the clearest new transportation funding going to transportation are the taxes on gas and the gas tax indexing.”

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Report: Unfunded liabilities digging deeper fiscal hole

Oct 18 2013

By Lisa Hagen, The Lowell Sun

"The way the payment schedule is going to be structured is how much the state will contribute over the next 30 years to get unfunded liability to 0," said Widmer. "The way payment works right now has unfunded liability increasing for next several years."
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Editorial: Massachusetts' public pension system can't live up to pledges

Oct 16 2013

The Republican

“A variety of factors account for this reality, including legislation to enhance benefits and provide early retirement incentives,” the report said. The MTF's report also noted that the retirement systems had failed to achieve what it called “the 8 percent or 8.25 percent target for annual earnings on pension assets.”
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Report: Pension debt soaring for cities, towns

Oct 15 2013

The Salem News

Sounding a fiscal warning alarm to state officials and municipal leaders alike, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has cited an update showing that cities, towns and the state remain dangerously underfunded when it comes to public pension and long-term health benefits — and that the situation is growing worse.
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Report: State facing pension woes

Oct 11 2013

By Steve LeBlanc, AP / SouthCoast Today

State and local governments in the state are on the hook for $83 billion in unfunded pension and retiree health care obligations, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation report found.
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Walsh's arbitration albatross

Oct 7 2013

CommonWealth Magazine

Michael Widmer, president of the business-funded Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, called the bill "a step backward for financial accountability to the taxpayer."
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'Free service' retiree perk drawing fire

Oct 6 2013

By Lyle Moran, The Lowell Sun

Widmer said the benefit "makes no sense whatsoever." "It is an exceedingly generous benefit to earn pension credit when you are not working or collecting a salary," Widmer said. "It makes no sense at all other than a sweetheart deal with the unions."
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Romneycare and Obamacare

Sep 29 2013

AP / The Providence Journal

The fiscally conservative Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has called Romneycare “a well thought-out piece of legislation.” Its sharpest critics, the group noted, are from out of state or single-payer advocates on the left.
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Obamacare vs. Romneycare: Lessons for today's 'shutdown' debacle

Sep 29 2013

By Brad Knickerbocker, The Christian Science Monitor

“There’s a lot of wild accusations that the law is breaking the bank in Massachusetts, and that is simply not the case,” foundation president Michael Widmer told Forbes during the 2012 presidential campaign. “I think the state’s healthcare reform has been a huge success and is probably the best policy achievement in the last 25 years.”
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Mass. tech tax repealed

Sep 28 2013

By Bob Salsberg, AP / Lawrence Eagle Tribune

Business groups including the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation were gathering signatures to put a repeal question on next year’s state ballot if lawmakers did not act first.
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Massachusetts Tech Tax Repealed

Sep 28 2013

By Paige Pihl Buckley, GoLocal Worcester

“This is a huge win for the business community,” said Andrew Bagley, Director of Research and Public Affairs at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which opposed the tax from the outset.
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A Victory For Tech: Mass. Legislature Votes to Repeal Tech Tax

Sep 27 2013

By Sarah Kuranda, CRN

"I'm enormously pleased that we're putting this behind us," said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation that helped organize the ballot initiative against the tax. "It would have been a terrible black mark on Massachusetts if we'd had to endure it over the next year before the voters repealed it. This is much cleaner.
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Final push for new taxes not expected

Sep 27 2013

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

As the News Service reported at the time, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation warned in mid-March, ahead of DeLeo and Murray's scaled-down tax proposal, that Patrick's more expansive tech tax would create a "Pandora's box" of problems for nearly every business in the state.
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One Down, One To Go: Mass. House Votes To Repeal Tech Tax

Sep 25 2013

By Sarah Kuranda, CRN

"In truth, I don't recall anything in which there has been this kind of change, within 60 days, to reverse course," Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, told CRN. "That reflects, obviously, the storm that was unleashed, but it also reflects [the legislature's] decision not to wait any longer and act expeditiously."
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Massachusetts House votes 156-1 to repeal new tax on computer services

Sep 25 2013

By Dan Ring, The Republican

Andrew Bagley, director of research and public affairs for the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which has been working to repeal the tax, said the repeal is retroactive to July 31 and any company can file for an abatement if it paid the tax. "They've neutralized it completely, which is great," Bagley said.
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Game soon over on Obamacare

Sep 25 2013

By Froma Harrop, Providence Journal

The fiscally conservative Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation praises Romneycare. The program’s sharpest critics, the group says, are from out of state or single-payer advocates on the left.
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Massachusetts House To Vote To Repeal "Tech Tax"

Sep 25 2013

By Paul Tuthill, WAMC

But legislative leaders and Governor Patrick say they’ve been persuaded by critics, such as Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation that the tax is bad for business.
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Editorial: Repeal the tech tax

Sep 15 2013

MetroWest Daily News

Some voices were raised about the tech tax, especially after the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation released an analysis showing the bill would bring in not $160 million, but as much as $500 million. This page raised the alarm as well, but DeLeo and Murray pressed ahead.
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Mass. Set to Repeal IT Services Tax Called ‘Most Burdensome’ in U.S.

Sep 15 2013

By Kevin Fogarty, Slashdot

The “tech tax” is “the most burdensome” in the U.S. and could cost Massachusetts companies $500 million per year while damaging the state’s ability to continue to compete in high tech, warned the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Governor Patrick’s tech tax wakes up a sleeping giant

Sep 15 2013

By Joan Vennochi, The Boston Globe

Beacon Hill leaders now say they back Patrick. But the council, in partnership with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, is seeking to repeal the sales tax via voter referendum. That takes old-school organizing, since it requires the gathering of 70,000 signatures to get the measure on the 2014 ballot.
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Massachusetts Computer Software Services Tax Attacked

Sep 12 2013

By Leroy Baker, Tax News

According to a 50-state analysis released by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (MTF), Massachusetts has, since its extension on July 31 this year, the "most burdensome" tax on computer and software services in the United States.
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Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo support repeal of new Massachusetts tech tax

Sep 12 2013

By Dan Ring, The Republican

The measure to apply the 6.25 percent sales tax to certain software services was included in a law for transportation funding. Legislators intended the measure to raise $161 million a year, but a study by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimated it would raise $500 million a year and cause widespread damage to the state's economy. Michael J.
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Editorial: Gov. Deval Patrick's tax policy shift protects Bay State innovation

Sep 12 2013

The Republican

The so-called tech tax, which was adopted by the Legislature this summer, triggered a storm of protest from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and technology executives, who argued that it would stifle the business innovation the Bay State claims it so badly needs.
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Murray, DeLeo vow tech tax repeal

Sep 12 2013

By Peter Howe, NECN

But groups like the Massachusetts High Technology Council, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and others said the tax was so badly and broadly drafted it could have whacked businesses with over $1 billion a year in new taxes – and also have every company in the state working with software constantly paying lawyers and accountants for tax advice.
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Editorial: Support for computer services tax erodes

Sep 12 2013

Lawrence Eagle Tribune

The chamber, along with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, was one of the first groups to rise in opposition to the tax, and others have followed.
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Finally, some sense made on 'tech tax'

Sep 12 2013

Newburyport Daily News

The chamber, along with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, was one of the first groups to rise in opposition to the tax, and others have followed. House and Senate Republicans this week said they will file legislation to repeal the measure (as Democratic state Sen. Karen Spilka has already done), and there is a tech industry-backed initiative petition headed for the 2014 ballot if lawmakers don’t take action.

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Our view: Tech tax on the ropes

Sep 12 2013

The Salem News

The chamber, along with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, was one of the first groups to rise in opposition to the tax, and others have followed. House and Senate Republicans this week said they will file legislation to repeal the measure (as Democratic state Sen. Karen Spilka has already done), and there is a tech industry-backed initiative petition headed for the 2014 ballot if lawmakers don’t take action.

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Tech community used the tools it knows best to battle software tax

Sep 11 2013

By Mike Farrell, The Boston Globe

“They’ve taken advantage of their skills to mount this effort in a new way,” said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “The response from the tech community was absolutely critical to building this tidal wave against the tax.”
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Editorial: After Legislature’s ‘tech tax’ fumble, let’s make it right

Sep 11 2013

Daily Hampshire Gazette

We support a repeal of the tech tax. Perhaps there is a way to fairly increase fees on technology companies, but creating what the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation calls the “most burdensome” tax on computer and software services in the nation isn’t it.
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Gov. Deval Patrick jumps on tech tax repeal wagon

Sep 11 2013

By Matt Stout, The Boston Herald

Patrick, however, did not specify with what he prefers to “replace” the $161 million the state is counting on the tax generating. Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said it’s “unlikely” the Legislature would stomach another tax increase to take its place. Widmer and House Minority Leader, Rep. Bradley H.
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Governor changes tune, backs tech tax repeal

Sep 11 2013

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service / The Salem News

Though Patrick suggested there is still some question about the impact of the tax on technology companies, he said damage to the state’s reputation is a real threat.
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Up in Arms About Computer Service Tax

Sep 10 2013

The Valley Advocate

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the Massachusetts High Technology Council, the computer industry and related businesses are in an uproar about the new tax.
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Service taxes: Where the money is

Sep 10 2013

By Paul McMorrow, CommonWealth Magazine

“It’s administrative chaos,” the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation’s Andrew Bagley tells Governing. “It affects just about every industrial sector from restaurants, insurance, retail, to farms and manufacturing.
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On Tech Tax, Can Massachusetts Succeed Where Others Have Failed?

Sep 10 2013

By Liz Farmer, Governing Magazine

“It’s administrative chaos,” says Andrew Bagley, the Massachusetts Taxpayer’s Association’s director of research and public affairs. “It affects just about every industrial sector from restaurants, insurance, retail, to farms and manufacturing. All are major purchasers of software … and all are subject to taxation.”
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Mass. GOP calls for repeal of computer design tax

Sep 10 2013

By John J. Monahan, The Worcester Telegram

A group backing the repeal initiative petition — the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation — released a report that found the Massachusetts version of the tech tax to be "the most burdensome tax on computer and software services in the nation." The group said a 50-state analysis found that by putting the new sales tax on 10 new categories of professional services associated with computer systems and software, the new tax, "strikes at the heart of the innovation economy that is central to the state's economic future."
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Analysis: Mass. tech tax "most burdensome"

Sep 10 2013

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service / Commonwelath Magazine

“Repealing the tax would return Massachusetts to the mainstream of the 50 states. With Massachusetts losing 3,000 jobs since January, placing the highest tax burden in the country on innovation and technology – the state’s greatest economic strength – is simply bad policy,” MTF President Michael Widmer said in a statement.
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GOP lawmakers visit software company to tout tech tax repeal bill

Sep 10 2013

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service / Hanover Mariner

Some groups, like the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, have suggested the tax could net as much as $500 million from businesses purchasing software. The foundation published a study on Monday detailing the Massachusetts tech tax as the broadest and highest tax on software services in the country.
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Republican lawmakers introduce bill to repeal Massachusetts tech tax

Sep 10 2013

By Shira Schoenberg, The Republican

The press conference came the same day as the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which supports repealing the tax, released a new study that found that the tech tax is “the most burdensome tax on computer and software services in the nation.” The study compared Massachusetts’ tax laws to tax laws in other states. It found that Massachusetts is the only state to single out software services for a tax. Four other states tax computer system design and related services at a rate lower than Massachusetts, generally as part of a larger tax on professional services.
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Mass. GOP calls for repeal of software tax

Sep 10 2013

By Bob Salsberg, AP / Cape Cod Today

"Repealing the tax would return Massachusetts to the mainstream of the 50 states," said Michael Widmer, president of the foundation. "With Massachusetts losing 3,000 jobs since January, placing the highest tax burden in the country on innovation and technology — the state's greatest economic strength — is simply bad policy."
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Tarr, Hill step up push to repeal tech tax

Sep 10 2013

Gloucester Times

Some groups, like the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, have suggested the tax could net as much as $500 million from businesses purchasing software. The foundation published a study on Monday detailing the Massachusetts tech tax as the broadest and highest tax on software services in the country.
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Editorial: Cuts a foreign concept

Sep 10 2013

The Boston Herald

Meanwhile the argument in favor of eliminating the new tech tax grows stronger by the day. Of the four states that levy similar taxes on technology and software services, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation announced yesterday that ours will be — you guessed it! — the highest. “We’re No. 1 in the nation in exactly what we don’t want to be,” MTF president Michael Widmer said.
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GOP lawmakers push for repeal of computer tax

Sep 10 2013

By Chris Burrell, The Patriot Ledger

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which also opposes the tax, released a new analysis Monday that the business-backed organization said supports its assertion that Massachusetts now imposes the highest tax in the nation on software services.
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New tech tax in Mass. is the largest in the U.S

Sep 9 2013

By Christine Lee, WWLP

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation released a report that says the state's new tax on computer software services is the largest and broadest in the country. The report finds that no other state taxes computer and software design services on as great a scale and cost than Massachusetts.
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Mass. GOP Calls for Repeal of Software Tax

Sep 9 2013

WGGB

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which also opposes the tax, released a new analysis on Monday that the group said showed the state was now imposing the highest tax on software services in the nation.
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Mass. Taxpayers Foundation: Tech tax ‘most burdensome’ in U.S.

Sep 9 2013

By Matt Stout, The Boston Herald

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation released what it touted as a state-by-state comparison of state tax laws aimed at computer and software services, focusing on 11 categories that it says the Bay State now taxes.
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Study: Mass. tech tax highest in U.S.

Sep 9 2013

By Jack Encarnacao, The Boston Herald

“This is the most burdensome software services tax in the nation,” said 
Michael Widmer, president of the taxpayers foundation, which is staunchly opposed to the tax approved by the Legislature this year. “We’re number one in the nation in exactly what we don’t want to be. Clearly the only course here is to repeal the tax.”
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Editorial: Revenge of the techies

Sep 6 2013

The Boston Herald

The Massachusetts High Technology Council, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and high-tech execs organized into the new Spark Coalition are working to repeal the tax, which has put local firms at a huge economic disadvantage in a very competitive industry. But that couldn’t even go on the ballot until November of 2014 — hence talk of halting it in court.
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Mass. Governor Holds Closed-Door Meeting On Controversial Tech Tax

Sep 5 2013

By Sarah Kuranda, CRN

In addition, Gov. Patrick gathered seven business leaders from around the state. President of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation Michael Widmer, Verizon New England Regional President Donna Cupelo, Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council President Tom Hopcroft, partner at Flybridge Capital Partners Jeff Bussgang, Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange President Debi Kleiman, co-founder of William Edmundson and Associates Phil Edmundson and President of Assembla Andy Singleton were listed as those who attended the meeting.

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No results from tech tax talk

Sep 5 2013

By Matt Stout, The Boston Herald

“This is the No. 1 topic in the State House, and it will only intensify because the grassroots effort is only building,” said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, who was among those urging Gov. Deval Patrick, House Speaker Robert A.
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Patrick, legislators, business leaders huddle on computer, software sales tax

Sep 5 2013

AP / Worcester Telegram

''It raised awareness among political leaders that this tax is unfixable and needs to be repealed,'' Widmer said of the meeting. The tax was estimated to produce $161 million in the current fiscal year, and Widmer said business leaders acknowledged that removing that revenue would leave a hole in the state budget.
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State House Meeting Focuses On ‘Tech Tax’ In Mass.

Sep 5 2013

By Bob Salsberg, AP / WBUR

Patrick convened the closed-door meeting in his office after business-backed groups, including the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, announced they would ask Massachusetts voters to repeal the tax if lawmakers did not do so first.
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Technology services tax snafu ensnares Democrats

Sep 4 2013

By Gabrielle Gurley, CommonWealth Magazine

Only four other states levy such a tax, and they do so at lower rates, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. The vagueness of the law, including the types of services that would be taxed, has confused just about everyone, including the state Department of Revenue.
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Gov. Deval Patrick, legislators and business leaders hold tech tax summit

Sep 4 2013

By Shira Schoenberg, The Republican

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said business owners at the meeting told the governor and legislators that the tax should be repealed and the $161 million replaced by other revenues. “Business leaders laid out the scope of this tax, its impact on the future of the Massachusetts economy,” Widmer said.
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Look Out Massachusetts Tech Tax, Repeal Movement Is Gaining Ground

Sep 4 2013

By Sarah Kuranda, CRN

The meeting was attended by legislative and industry leaders. Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, attended the discussion and said that it was "constructive" but that legislators and the governor did not have any decisive changes of heart. "I thought it was a productive meeting," Widmer said, however. "I don't think they have decided. ...
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Software Tax Is Subject Of State House Meeting

Sep 4 2013

By Fred Bever, WBUR

Michael Widmer, of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, says the meeting focused on the complexities of the software industry. “And that you couldn’t somehow tax a discrete part of the software industry and that this really laced through everything,” he added.
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Majority Of Proposed Mass. Ballot Questions Clear First Major Hurdle

Sep 4 2013

By Paul Tuthill, WAMC

One of the 28 questions moving forward is an effort to repeal the expansion of the state’s sales tax to computer and software services. Michael Widmer , president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation says it strikes at the heart of the state’s technology driven innovation economy.
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PLYMOUTH AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Business leaders battle Tech Tax attack

Aug 31 2013

By Emily Dravenstadt, Wicked Local Plymouth

“This is totally bad for business,” Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Denis Hanks said. “A number of legislators in the Senate and House are opposed to it, and we’re leading a charge from the Chamber’s side with other chambers statewide, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and a number of other business organizations opposing it.”
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OP-ED: Jack Lank, President, United Regional Chamber Of Commerc - “Tech Tax” Hits Massachusetts

Aug 30 2013

By Jack Lang, America Towns

We are working with our state representatives and local groups to petition the State to repeal, revise, or postpone this tax. The Mass High Tech Council has teamed up with The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation to further push for a repeal. There are also several blogs devoted to cataloging the repeal progress, including No Tech Tax and Repeal The IT Service Tax.

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Proposed lawsuit intended to stop Massachusetts' new technology tax gathering steam, Springfield lawyer Scott Foster says

Aug 29 2013

By Jim Kinney, The Republican

The state estimates $160 million a year, but opponent Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimates $500 million., enough to cripple the state's growing software industr
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Western Massachusetts computer professionals call state's new technology tax unfair, unneeded

Aug 29 2013

By Jim Kinney, The Republican

he state estimates it will bring in $160 million a year, but opponent Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimates that lawmakers have cast a much wider net and will take in closer to $500 million.
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