In The News: Transportation

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Regional transit systems hope to gain from funding bill

Apr 22 2013

By Martine Powers, The Boston Globe

“I don’t know if that’s defensible, given the limited dollars,” Widmer said. “It clearly deserves additional funding . . . but the question is, how much?” Any increase in spending on the buses, Widmer argued, should be coupled with an increase in transparency and accountability for the regional transit authorities, which would help taxpayers ensure that the buses are as popular and as efficient as advocates suggest.
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University of Massachusetts and other education projects keeping heavy construction companies, workers busy

Apr 22 2013

By Jim Kinney, The Republican

In transportation, Gov. Deval L. Patrick’s ambitious transportation plans appear to have stalled in the state legislature, said Michael Widmer, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. But he does expect a compromise now brewing in the statehouse to yield $700 million to $800 million in transportation funding a year once the plan ramps-up fully in 2018.
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Hopes rise for deal over Massachusetts transportation spending plans

Apr 12 2013

The Berkshire Eagle

According to an analysis by the independent Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the additions to the Senate bill would bring the increase in annual transportation funding close to $800 million by fiscal year 2018.
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Could the Senate plan provide common ground?

Apr 11 2013

By Gabrielle Gurley, CommonWealth Magazine

The Senate plan moves the Legislature closer to an $800 million target proposed by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation in March. The foundation had staked out a middle ground between state lawmakers and the governor that would allow transportation agencies to get a handle on the chronic underinvestment while offering some leeway for modest expansion projects. “On balance, I think this is a good bill,” Michael Widmer, the president of the taxpayers group, told CommonWealth.
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Mass. Tax Foundation favors 9 cent gas tax

Apr 10 2013

By Michael Norton, Colleen Quinn, Andy Metzger, State House News Service / Cape Cod Today`

The foundation also released its analysis of the House and Senate bills, saying the House bill raised $680 million in fiscal 2018 from transportation-related sources that would cover operating budget gaps for transportation agencies in each of the next five years with $130 million available for debt service expenditures in 2018. The Senate proposal, according to MTF, increases transportation funding by about $800 million in fiscal 2018.
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State Senate may add funds to transportation bill

Apr 10 2013

By Jim O'Sullivan, The Boston Globe

“This would be, in my view, a great success for the governor,” said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “Now, he has put on the table a larger package, but this is still an ­important piece. It’s not as if he doesn’t care about it. So I would hope he would sign it.”
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House vote to hike Mass. gas tax leaves few cheering

Apr 10 2013

By Allison Thomasseau, The Lowell Sun

Andrew Bagley, director of research and development at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said tying the gasoline tax to inflation would help sustain the buying power of tax revenues, which was not done the last time the gasoline tax was raised in 1991. "If we had indexed the gas tax in 1991 and let it rise, as with virtually all other expenses, we would not have to raise the tax now, and we wouldn't have to raise any other revenues," Bagley said.
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Our Opinion: Road plan finds ditch

Apr 5 2013

The Berkshire Eagle

The legislative plan would provide about half of the funding the governor offers, and is not up to the standards of a more realistic compromise plan offered in March by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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MBTA: Federal Funding for Green Line at Risk Under Recent Proposal

Apr 4 2013

By Chris Orchard, Medford Patch

"I do believe the leadership in the legislature is listening," he said. "The question is, is the number the right number?" He pointed to another proposal by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation that called for $800 million in additional transportation funding. "We need to make sure the math works," he said of the various proposals.
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Fear and loathing on the tax trail

Apr 4 2013

By Paul McMorrow, CommonWealth Magazine

There are plenty of avenues to contest Patrick’s tax proposal on. Michael Widmer, the president of the Massa­chu­setts Taxpayers Foundation, says that while businesses and interest groups outside the State House were expecting a push on transportation funding, Patrick’s bid to add spending on education caught many by surprise. As a result, he argues, the programs Patrick wants to fund haven’t been vetted fully, and come with much less oversight built in.
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