In The News: Public Finance

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State budget cuts loom in face of $575M deficit

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Sep 27 2016

By Christian Wade, Lawrence Eagle Tribune

"The magnitude of this shortfall is unprecedented," said Doug Howgate, the foundation's director of policy and research. "Not since the height of the Great Recession have collections over a five-month period slumped by so much, and never in the midst of an economic recovery."
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Legislature needs to close $575M budget gap

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Sep 26 2016

State House News Service / WBJournal

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation this week estimated the final fiscal 2016 budget gap at $575 million, writing in a new bulletin, "The books have yet to be closed on fiscal year 2016 and so neither the final budget gap, nor the mix of solutions to address it are known." MTF identified trust fund sweeps and other efforts to grab one-time revenues as among the likely budget fixes.
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The Codcast: State economy hot, but not tax revenues

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Sep 23 2016

CommonWealth Magazine

What’s going on? We explore that issue with Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, and Alan Clayton-Matthews, an associate professor at Northeastern University. Both of them conduct state revenue forecasts and work with state officials to develop a consensus forecast.
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Baker: September revenue performance holds key to mid-year budget adjustments

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Sep 12 2016

By Katie Lannan, State House News Service / WWLP

Lawmakers voted to override $231.6 million of Baker’s vetoes, leaving what the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation pegged as an early $240 million gap in the budget.
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Chairman: State should borrow more, with low interest rates

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Sep 9 2016

By Colin Young, State House News Service / Metrowest Daily News

"Theoretically, with low interest rates, sure it's a good time to borrow in a vacuum," Andrew Bagley, vice president for policy and research at MTF, told the News Service. "But we're up against the debt limit, we have an operating budget from which we just had to carve out $650 million in FY16, there are concerns about whether revenues will show up and we have debt service costs that go up every year." At $2.64 billion, the fiscal 2017 debt service allocation is up $640 million -- or 30 percent -- over fiscal 2008, according to MTF. "It's a hard time to argue that we really should be borrowing more, even though we sure do have enormous capital needs," Bagley said.

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State officials: August tax collections fall $42M under benchmark

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Sep 6 2016

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service / The Berkshire Eagle

On July 8, Baker issued $264 million in line item vetoes and signed a $38.92 billion fiscal 2017 budget that he said solved for the declining revenue projections, but the Legislature restored $231.6 million in spending through veto overrides votes, leaving what the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation pegged as an early $240 million gap in the budget.
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State revenue growth is slower than expected

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Sep 6 2016

By Joshua Miller, The Boston Globe

“These August numbers now reflect five consecutive months of softening revenue, indicating more of problematic trend than an aberration,” said Eileen McAnneny, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. She emphasized that many states are struggling with similar trends. And she said the newly released data underscore the fact that economic health is not the same as fiscal health. McAnneny said they call into question “whether this revenue slowdown, despite the healthy job-creation numbers, could be symptomatic of a broader economic slowdown.
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Mass. budget gap has no easy fixes

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Aug 24 2016

By Josh Miller, The Boston Globe

And policy makers have, budget after budget, used quick fixes instead of making tough choices. They’ve diverted and drained billions meant for the state’s emergency savings account. They’ve put off until next year bills that were meant to be paid this year. They’ve used money meant for pensions and retiree health care to plug short-term budget holes. And they’ve repeatedly made unrealistically optimistic projections that allow them to balance budgets at the cost of burdening future lawmakers. “Now, we’re running out of gimmicks,” said Eileen McAnneny, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Final state budget shaved by almost $630 million from earlier projections

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Aug 17 2016

By Colin A. Young, State House News Service / Sentinel & Enterprise

On July 8, Baker issued $264 million in line item vetoes and signed a $38.92 billion fiscal 2017 budget that he said solved for the declining revenue projections, but the Legislature restored $231.6 million in spending through veto override votes leaving what the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation pegged as an early $240 million gap in the budget.
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Economists stumped by strong state economy, weak state revenues

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Aug 13 2016

By Gerry Tuoti, Arlington Wicked Local

A month into fiscal 2017, some economists are keeping an eye out for signs of a funding crisis like the one that hit Massachusetts this past spring. “We will monitor to see if some sort of trend is developing,” said Andy Bagley, vice president of policy and research for the nonprofit Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

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