In The News: Budget

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Gov. Baker gears up for State of Commonwealth address

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Jan 16 2016

AP / The Lowell Sun

The business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has forecast a slowdown in tax revenues in the 2017 fiscal year that begins July 1, with collections increasing by just 3.8 percent -- below the past five-year trend of 4.6 percent annual growth.
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Budget officials see 4.3% revenue growth ahead

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Jan 15 2016

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service / The Lowell Sun

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has projected a gap between available revenues and maintenance spending in fiscal 2017 of between $795 million and $1.05 billion. The business-backed budget watchdog group had projected more modest 3.8 percent revenue growth at the hearing in December.

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Baker on right spending path for state's health

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Jan 13 2016

The Daily News

Indeed, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a top fiscal watchdog, warned late last year that the Legislature earns a “red flag” for repeatedly raiding the state’s “rainy day” fund. That fund is meant to prop up the state during serious economic downturns; it’s not meant to be tapped when the economy is in recovery. This is the time when money is supposed to be pumped back into it.
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Editorial: Emergency spending cuts wise fiscal management

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Jan 12 2016

The Lawrence Eagle Tribune

But here's the thing that should make taxpayers think twice: The state is making emergency cuts even as it is taking in more tax revenue than expected. In essence, the state is making more money than it hoped for and it still can't pay the bills. According to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the last time that happened was 2001.
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Mass. sees $50 million budget cut

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Jan 10 2016

State House News Service / The Metro

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation noted the cuts announced Friday were the first emergency budget cuts since 2001 triggered by downgrade in non-tax revenues as tax revenues were actually being upgraded. "While today's plan addresses $104.9 million of the administration's estimated FY 2016 budget gap, fiscal challenges remain. Outstanding spending obligations in areas such as the Committee for Public Counsel Services, Emergency Assistance and MassHealth coupled with savings shortfalls from Retirement Program are among the exposures that present ongoing budget challenges," the group wrote in its analysis of the spending cuts.

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Governor Charlie Baker shaves $49m off budget

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Jan 9 2016

By David Scharfenberg, The Boston Globe

On Friday, Eileen McAnneny, president of the Taxpayers Foundation, praised the governor for his midyear cuts. “We applaud the Baker administration for taking this proactive approach to the budget gap,” she said. “Challenges remain, but without today’s action, the decisions in the months to come would be even harder.”
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Baker slashes $54M from this year’s budget to help close gap

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Jan 9 2016

By Matt Stout, The Boston Herald

But the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed watchdog, warned that even with the total $104.9 million budget-tightening plan, challenges remain, thanks in part to signs that Baker’s early retirement plan hasn’t reaped all the savings he’d hoped for. MTF also called the cuts “unique,” given tax revenues are actually exceeding expectations by $113 million. But roughly $205 million in the budget gap is tied to shortfalls in non-tax revenue, said Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore, while another chunk comes from expenses such as private attorney costs, human service caseload “exposures” and settlement money.

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Gov. Charlie Baker cuts $50 million from state budget mid-year

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Jan 9 2016

By Shira Schoenberg, MassLive

Mid-year budget cuts are common, as projections of revenue and spending are tracked and revised throughout the year. According to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which tracks government spending, there have been seven instances of mid-year budget cuts since fiscal year 2002. But, according to the foundation, this is the first time budget cuts have been made when tax revenues are actually coming in above projections. That indicates that the problem is attributable to non-tax revenues and higher than anticipated spending and not, for example, to an economic downturn leading to low tax payments.

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Baker slashes $50M in spending

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Jan 8 2016

By Matt Murphy, CommonWealth Magazine / State House News Service

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation noted the cuts announced Friday were the first emergency budget cuts since 2001 triggered by downgrade in non-tax revenues as tax revenues were actually being upgraded.
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Editorial: Baker is right on need for fiscal discipline

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Jan 7 2016

The Lawrence Eagle Tribune

This year's budget picture looks equally stark, Wade reports. The fiscal watchdog Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation is projecting a $1 billion shortfall due to increased health care costs and the state's reliance on one-time revenue, such as federal money.
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