In The News: Transportation

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Tax Breaks And Paybacks: TIFs Cost Communities, Yet Officials Embrace Long-Term Values

Sep 17 2012

By Emily Micucci, Worcester Business Journal

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, thinks cities and towns have generally awarded TIFs to worthwhile projects, but he said the projects raise an important question.
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State ready to release road repair allocations

Jul 15 2012

By Jennette Barnes, The Boston Globe

At the time, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation urged the Legislature to reduce funding for the bridge program, saying it borrowed from the future by moving up capital spending. But the watchdog group has no objection to the Chapter 90 funding, which is separate, because it is part of the capital budget, said Andrew Bagley, director of research and public affairs.
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Add interest, and Big Dig cost expected to top $24b

Jul 11 2012

By Eric Moskowitz, The Boston Globe

Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, called the numbers illuminating. “It’s certainly a positive step that the administration has laid out these costs with such clarity,” Widmer said. “It reinforces the fact that this was one ­incredibly expensive project” and remains one of the key reasons why the state’s gas taxes, highway tolls, transit fares, and other transportation revenues fall short of needs and force more borrowing, he said.
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Protesting MBTA fare hikes

Mar 30 2012

By Peter Howe, NECN

“I think we’re talking about a 5 to 8 cent a gallon increase, directed to the T” to solve the T budget woes for several years, Widmer said, but added that if there is a gas-tax hike coming, “We can’t keep asking taxpayers to bail out the MBTA. Something has to be done with the cost structure of the T that has never been done before” to prevent the current funding crisis from just re-erupting once any interim fix of new gas-tax revenue, or other revenue, is outstripped by debt, energy, health-care, and other costs at the MBTA.
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Patrick: Unused Snow Removal Money Could Go To Cash-Strapped MBTA

Feb 24 2012

WBZ

Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation says it’s not a perfect idea, but something we should look into. “Given New England winters, next year we may budget $50 million for snow and ice and have a horrible winter and need $100 million.
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MBTA looks for new way to boost revenue, lower long-term debt

Feb 23 2012

By Samantha Tatro, The Daily Free Press

The proposal’s strengths lie in its ability to “spread the pain,” said Michael Widmer, the president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “The riders have been concerned, rightly so, about drastic service cuts,” he said. “The best part about this new proposal is that it preserves most of the services.”
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Business leaders huddling on transportation strategies

Feb 17 2012

By Kyle Cheney, The Boston Herald / State House News Service

O’Connell, who was Gov. Deval Patrick’s top economic development aide from 2007 to 2009, said his organization has met with A Better City, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation to discuss their concerns about fare hikes and service cuts proposed by the T to close an anticipated $161 million budget deficit.
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Parking attendants haul in OT pay at Massport

Jan 30 2012

By John Zaremba, The Boston Herald

“It sounds awfully high. It sounds like a fairly well-paying position,” said Andrew Bagley of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “If there’s been no change, that’s a problem. If the governor has called them out, saying this is something you need to balance better and they haven’t, then that’s something that needs a closer look.”
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South Shore locals and politicians protest MBTA changes with petitions, calls to action

Jan 26 2012

By Jessica Bartlet, The Boston Globe

Keenan pointed to numerous studies, including a 2009 review of MBTA finances by former John Hancock CEO David D'Allessandro, a 2007 Massachusetts Transportation Finance Commission study, and a 2002 Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation report entitled "MBTA Capital Spending: Derailed by Expansion," all of which conclude that expansion was not badly needed and the consequences would be severe.
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Massport Pays $83K Annually For Human Traffic Light

Oct 31 2011

WCVB TV

Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said it's a waste. "Why in this day and age, we have a policeman manually operating a traffic light at this exorbitant cost totally bewilders me," he said.
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