In The News: Transportation

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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. In their comments to the Globe, longtime MBTA observers Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and Paul Regan of the MBTA Advisory Board were circumspect about what a Keolis deal might mean. But they both cautioned that the pact could wind up being more expensive for the state if the new firm doesn't measure up or if the MBCR decides to pursue a lawsuit if the company loses out.
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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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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. Widmer said he questions the state's ability to afford South Coast Rail even though the Legislature recently passed a transportation bond bill that would fund the MBTA with taxes, allowing the state to use its borrowing capacity for capital projects.
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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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Little oversight when retired cops work details

Aug 18 2013

By Laura Krantz, North Attleboro Free Press

Michael J. Widmer, president of the non-profit government watchdog group Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said within limits, it is reasonable for retired officers to earn extra. But, he said, "it does no use to place limits on this supplemental income if retirement boards or someone else are not monitoring its implementation."
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HEDLUND REPORT: It’s their party and they’ll tax if they want to!

Aug 6 2013

By Senator Bob Hedlund, Wicked Local Marshfield

The most foolish of all the latest tax increases that is sure to have the most negative impact is the new 6.25 percent sales tax on computer system design services and software services. Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said it best when he warned the Governor and Legislature that “State leaders could hardly have chosen a more perfect tax to undercut the future of the Massachusetts economy. This is the most sweeping computer and software services tax in the nation. It strikes at the heart of the state’s innovation economy and will stifle job creation for years to come.”

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Massachusetts Foists Software Service Tax on Local Business

Aug 5 2013

By Christine Parizo, Internet Evolution

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has said in published reports that the tax could actually raise $500 million for the Commonwealth -- and cost Massachusetts, a hotbed of technology companies, quite a few jobs. In addition, implementing it so quickly will also take a toll on technology companies, particularly smaller systems integrators and independent consultants whose bread-and-butter clients are located in Massachusetts, as well as strain the resources of healthcare providers who often need customized software to, for example, ensure that hospital beds are provisioned efficiently.

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Mass tech tax stirs unease over impact, application

Aug 4 2013

By Andy Metzger, Eagle Tribune

Lawmakers are eyeing a new revenue source that Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer has warned could generate $500 million, far more than the $161 million estimate lawmakers attached to their tax hike.

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Editorial: Lawmakers fail state's taxpayers

Jul 26 2013

Gloucester Times

The application of the sales tax to computer and software services will cost the state’s employers an additional $500 million per year, according to estimates from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. That will cut into profits in virtually every industry in the state, no doubt leading to lost jobs.
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Editorial: Legislature picks taxpayers’ pockets again

Jul 25 2013

Lawrence Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts is a leader in computer services; taxing a growth industry undermines the state’s competitive advantages. The tax will cut into profits in virtually every industry in the state as those businesses are the primary customers for computer and software services. It is inevitable that jobs will be lost.
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