In The News: Municipal

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Town officials seek to curb costs in 2016

Dec 18 2015

By Kathryn O’Brien, Tr-Town Transcript

The Massachusetts taxpayers foundation recommends that the only way to lower costs is “to lower our head count,” said Alan Benson. “That’s the only way to get ahead of this. Decreases salaries, OPEB and pension, says the Taxpayers Foundation
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Massachusetts Municipal Revenue Growth Lags

Dec 8 2015

By Paul Tuthill, WAMC Public Radio

A new report finds that even as the overall economy improves, cities and towns in Massachusetts are feeling a financial pinch. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation released its 45th annual municipal finance report.
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Local tax revenues slow to rise

Dec 6 2015

AP / The Boston Globe

A new report by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation finds that even as the overall economy improves, the state’s cities and towns are still feeling plenty of financial strain. Municipal revenues grew by a modest 3.8 percent in the last fiscal year, a figure that remains below historical averages prior to the recent recession. Wages for municipal employees grew by 3.7 percent last year, a rate higher than the average for private sector workers in Massachusetts. Municipalities collected a total of $14.6 billion in property taxes last year, an increase of 4.1 percent and the largest year-over-year increase since 2010, according to the report.
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Report: Cities and towns still feeling financial pinch

Dec 6 2015

AP / The Boston Herald

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation released its annual municipal financial report this week, saying municipal revenues grew by a modest 3.8 percent in the last fiscal year, a figure that remains below historical averages prior to the Great Recession. According to the report, wages for municipal employees grew by 3.7 percent last year, a rate higher than the average for private sector workers in Massachusetts.
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Editorial: Local tax take soars but is still not enough

Dec 3 2015

The Lawrence Eagle Tribune

Municipalities claim their revenue growth is insufficient to keep up with "fixed cost" increases. The MTF report says Bay State cities and towns are "stuck in an era of modest rebound" as the revenue increase remains below the benchmark of 5.2 percent annual revenue growth recorded between 1982 and 2009. "The pursuit of the 5.2 percent average annual revenue growth we witnessed between 1982 and 2009 continues to become more unattainable in the short term," MTF President Eileen McAnneny said in a statement reported by the State House News Service.
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Property tax revenues grow, but communities still need more money

Dec 2 2015

By David McKay, WWLP

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation recently came out with a report saying that the states, cities, and towns are stuck in an era of modest rebound. Yet the average salary of a municipal worker has grown as has the workforce. At the same time cities and towns face a collective $45 billion in unfunded pension and retiree health care liabilities, which is affecting spending decisions. The report says that the reliance on property taxes is signaling that municipal budgets must start to align with a slower growth rate.
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Massachusetts property tax revenue rises 4.1 percent, most in five years

Dec 1 2015

By Michael Norton, State House News Service / The Enterprise

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation concluded in its annual municipal financial data report that Bay State cities and towns are "stuck in an era of modest rebound." Overall, total municipal revenues grew by 3.8 percent. "The pursuit of the 5.2 percent average annual revenue growth we witnessed between 1982 and 2009 continues to become more unattainable in the short term," MTF President Eileen McAnneny said in a statement.
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$15 billion - What Massachusetts needs to pay retiree insurance benefits for 30 years, but doesn't have

Apr 24 2015

By Shira Schoenberg, MassLive

"Each year we delay action on this, the problem gets bigger and more unwieldy," said Carolyn Ryan, assistant director of policy and research for the business-oriented Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which has studied the impact of retiree benefits on state and local governments.
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Local aid would increase 2.4% under Baker budget

Mar 4 2015

By Michael Norton, State House News Service / Sentinel & Enterprise

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has estimated a $1.5 billion gap between expected revenues and expenses next year. Baker is tackling that budget gap without recommending any tax hikes, and does not plan to draw money from the state's stabilization fund, which lawmakers have regularly used to support spending plans.
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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. The longer you take to address them, the bigger the problem can become.”
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