In The News

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. Widmer said indexing is a “standard form of tax policy so that we don’t see our revenues depleted,” and Maguire said the current condition of Bay State roads is unsafe.
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Business groups defend gas-tax indexing with big money to defeat Question 1

Oct 20 2014

By George Donnelly, Boston Business Journal

In the latest filing on the Massachusetts Office of Political and Campaign Finance, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and A Better City, all business membership groups, contributed to defeat the ballot question.
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Question 1 opponents: Indexing gas tax is crucial

Oct 16 2014

By Brian Benson, The Weston Town Crier

But Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and an opponent of Question 1, said indexing the gas tax is similar to how some other taxes change. As the cost of goods rise, for example, people pay more dollars in sales tax.
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Ballot Question 1: Eliminating Gas Tax Indexing

Oct 9 2014

By Lana Jones, WBZ Radio

But Michael Widmer, head of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said that is not accurate. “This is very common to have an adjustment to reflect increases in cost of living, both for taxes and for benefit,” Widmer said.
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Editorial: The retiree dilemma

Sep 27 2014

The Boston Herald

Among those items of unfinished business the Patrick administration - and this sitting of the Legislature - leave behind is any attempt to reform the health care benefits paid to retired municipal workers that are bankrupting the state’s poorest communities.A new report by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation documents in distressing detail the scope of the problem. They studied spending for retiree health care by nine of the 10 municipalities with the lowest per capita income in the state (data for Fall River wasn’t available).
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Report: Retiree health costs equal nearly 20 percent of tax bills for single-family homeowners in Springfield, Holyoke

Sep 24 2014

By Jack Flynn, The Republican

Expanding health care costs for retired municipal workers equal nearly 20 percent of the property tax paid by the average single-family homeowner in Springfield and Holyoke, an analysis by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has found.
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Question 1 foes: Gas-tax indexing repeal dooms roads

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Sep 24 2014

By Kyle Clauss, The Lowell Sun

Michael Widmer, president of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the federal government is pushing for more responsibility for roads and bridges on the state level. A higher gas tax, Widmer said, would provide the state with revenue for transportation without a considerable burden on motorists -- between $5-$10 annually.
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Retiree health costs straining budgets in poorer cities

Sep 22 2014

By Andy Metzger, State House New Service / WWLP

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation analyzed the impact of growing retiree health costs on nine of the 10 cities with the lowest per capita incomes. In North Adams, for example, retiree health care amounts to 22 percent of the city’s property tax levy, or $445 on the average annual tax bill in North Adams. “Not only are property taxpayers funding retiree health care at the expense of other services, they are also funding a benefit that most of them do not receive,” the MTF report stated. “Few residents have access to any retiree health care benefits themselves, let alone the generous ones provided by municipalities.”

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Income inequality impacting state tax revenues

Sep 15 2014

By Tiffany Chan, WWLP

The President of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation argues that it would only target the upper-class. “I think the proponents, many of them of the graduated income tax really want to be able to raise taxes on the higher income people without having to raise taxes on everybody,” said President Michael Widmer.
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New study suggests overhauling state personal income tax could help with revenue

Sep 15 2014

By Philip Marcelo, AP / The Republic

Michael Widmer, a member of the Tax Fairness Commission who opposed the recommendation, says such an overhaul would only compound income inequality by discouraging business investment. The president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed research group, he suggested more "modest" changes to the tax code, such as raising the value of certain tax exemptions for individuals and married couples. "That goes directly to the spending power of that person on the lower end that's living in a high cost state and trying to make ends meet," Widmer said.
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