In The News

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. The longer you take to address them, the bigger the problem can become.”
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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. “He faces a huge fiscal challenge that is more daunting than anything we have seen in an economic recovery in a long time,” said Michael J. Widmer, president of the business-backed group, which has an established presence on Beacon Hill.
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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 a law that will not meet the state's needs.
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State schools falling behind

Dec 13 2014

By Jim Haddadin, MetroWest Daily News

In exchange for boosting graduation rates and closing achievement gaps, state education officials are calling on lawmakers to grow investments in public higher education and significantly expand financial aid programs. Those arguments have resonated with some government watchdogs, such as Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “There’s no question that they also need additional revenues,” Widmer said. “Now, one could quarrel about how much additional revenues and so on and so forth, but additional funding is clearly part of what’s required in order to realize the vision.”
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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. “We haven’t looked at this, but my one caution would be not to use one-time revenues to support ongoing operating expenses.”
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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. The MTF Board on Tuesday unanimously agreed to name McAnneny to the post, an influential one on Beacon Hill where lawmakers have long turned to the foundation for economic data and policy recommendations.
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