In The News: Taxes

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Voters aren’t against taxes; they’re against unfairness

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Nov 13 2014

By Renée Loth, The Boston Globe

Some 300,000 residents were shifted onto a “temporary’’ Medicaid plan when the state’s health exchange rollout collapsed, and it isn’t clear when the federal government will reimburse the state or for how much. “The state could be on the hook for hundreds of millions” in that fiasco, said Michael Widmer, director of the Massachusetts Taxpayers’ Foundation.
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Transit officials say repeal could cost $1b over decade

Nov 6 2014

By Nicole Dungca, The Boston Globe

Michael J. Widmer, president of the Taxpayers Foundation, who helped campaign against the repeal, said the vote could have serious long-term consequences for transportation funding that was given a boost last year. “When one looks at all of the various initiatives that this administration and others have put forward over the long-term, this will have an enormous impact on the state’s ability to fund those projects,” he said.

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2 Perspectives On Question 1: Eliminating Massachusetts Gas Tax Indexing

Oct 28 2014

By Sacha Pfeiffer, Radio Boston

Michael Widmer: “This is a traditional form of taxation, namely adjusting it to inflation…When you get a cost of living increase, you pay more in income tax… This happens to be tied to cents rather than percents, but the distinction is meaningless. This is a very common form of taxation. Let me put it in context: the last time the gas tax was raised, before 2013, it was increased to 21 cents in 1991. By 2013, that was worth 12 cents because of the loss of purchasing power. Now obviously, we can’t maintain our roads and bridges, and we have road and bridges that are unsafe, in poor condition, and in public transit as well.”
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Martha Coakley's comments on graduated income tax criticized by taxpayer watchdogs

Oct 24 2014

By Garrett Quinn, Masslive

"Amending the state’s constitution and adding to the tax burden of middle and higher income taxpayers, including businesses that pay personal income taxes, would pose one more disincentive to job creation in the state," said Widmer while testifying before the commission.
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Sorry state of Mass. roads costs drivers $8.3B a year

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Oct 22 2014

By Andy Metzger, State House News Service / The Enterprise

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer and AAA Southern New England Director of Public and Legislative Affairs Mary Maguire, who are both vocal opponents of Question 1, spoke at TRIP’s press conference held in a Beacon Hill office building. Widmer said indexing is a “standard form of tax policy so that we don’t see our revenues depleted,” and Maguire said the current condition of Bay State roads is unsafe.
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Business groups defend gas-tax indexing with big money to defeat Question 1

Oct 20 2014

By George Donnelly, Boston Business Journal

In the latest filing on the Massachusetts Office of Political and Campaign Finance, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and A Better City, all business membership groups, contributed to defeat the ballot question.
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Question 1 opponents: Indexing gas tax is crucial

Oct 16 2014

By Brian Benson, The Weston Town Crier

But Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and an opponent of Question 1, said indexing the gas tax is similar to how some other taxes change. As the cost of goods rise, for example, people pay more dollars in sales tax.
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Ballot Question 1: Eliminating Gas Tax Indexing

Oct 9 2014

By Lana Jones, WBZ Radio

But Michael Widmer, head of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said that is not accurate. “This is very common to have an adjustment to reflect increases in cost of living, both for taxes and for benefit,” Widmer said.
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Question 1 foes: Gas-tax indexing repeal dooms roads

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Sep 24 2014

By Kyle Clauss, The Lowell Sun

Michael Widmer, president of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the federal government is pushing for more responsibility for roads and bridges on the state level. A higher gas tax, Widmer said, would provide the state with revenue for transportation without a considerable burden on motorists -- between $5-$10 annually.
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Income inequality impacting state tax revenues

Sep 15 2014

By Tiffany Chan, WWLP

The President of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation argues that it would only target the upper-class. “I think the proponents, many of them of the graduated income tax really want to be able to raise taxes on the higher income people without having to raise taxes on everybody,” said President Michael Widmer.
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