In The News: Budget

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Zoos May Have To Roar Louder For Funding

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Aug 18 2009

WCVB TV

"I am so concerned that the cuts to the zoo are so large as a proportion of their budgets that we'll have to end up closing the zoos," said Michael Widmer, of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Disappearing Quinn Bill funds leave communities in a muddle over how to pay their police

Aug 16 2009

By Brian Fraga, South Coast Today

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the Quinn Bill itself needs to be reformed to lessen the financial obligations of the state and the municipalities. He said having a 10 percent wage increase for an associate's degree is not valid, and questioned the wisdom of a 20 percent increase for a bachelor's degree. Police receive a 25 percent pay increase for a master's degree.
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In Massachusetts, it's a fee for all

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Aug 10 2009

By GateHouse News Service / Taunton Daily Gazette, Nancy Reardon

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a watchdog group on public spending, said paying more for state government isn't anything new in an economic downturn. "Anywhere a fee exists, there is fair game to try to get more revenue," he said. "Sometimes fees need to be adjusted to reflect costs, but in reality, in a time of crisis it's strictly a revenue-raiser."
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State's revenue collections below projections

Aug 5 2009

By Matt Murphy, The Lowell Sun

"July is not a big month (for tax collections), but what it does is support the case that the revenue estimate for fiscal 2010 is on the high side," said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "It raises the concern that we may fall short $300 million to $500 million for the year."
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Editorial: Beacon Hill’s fuzzy math

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Jul 30 2009

The Boston Herald

Meanwhile the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has said the state's final tax take for fiscal 2010 could be several hundred million dollars less than what experts had predicted - meaning lawmakers could be forced to make emergency cuts to the budget, and soon.
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Pols replenish reserve accounts to tune of $1.6M

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Jul 30 2009

By Hillary Chabot, The Boston Herald

Massachusetts Taxpayer's Foundation Executive Director Michael Widmer chided lawmakers for not tightening their belts more. "From the point of view of sharing the pain, it would have been best if they hadn't restored so much," Widmer said.
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Lawmakers set to restore funds

Jul 29 2009

By Matt Viser and Kay Lazar, The Boston Globe

"It's likely several hundred million dollars too high,'' said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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New road signs in Western Mass. stimulate signmakers' pocketbooks

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Jul 24 2009

By Dan Ring, The Republic

"It is a small expense, but it's just not necessary," said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Boston-based Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "It just creates ill will for a good cause," he added.
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Spilka hopes to give taxpayers a break

Jul 21 2009

By Michael Morton, Metro Daily News

However, Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said there are other tools for municipalities to collect late payments, such as tax liens, with Spilka's bill coming at an inopportune time.
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Who comes first in the state?

Jul 12 2009

By Joan Vennochi, The Boston Globe

Michael Widmer, who heads the Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation, supports the universal healthcare law. What Patrick is trying to do is "the right thing,'' said Widmer. But, given the current budget crisis, "it's problematic,'' he added. "It requires cutting in other areas. . . . There are a lot of moving pieces.''
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