In The News: Capital

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AdWatch: Obama hits Romney's economic record

Jun 4 2012

By Andrew Miga, Associated Press

Michael Widmer, president of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed fiscal watchdog group, said it is not unusual for long-term debt to grow. The state usually spends about $1.5 billion to $2 billion annually on capital projects such as highways and schools, he said.

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Tax credit challenged

Dec 13 2011

By Patrick Cassidy, Cape Cod Times

"I think the concern we have with the film tax credit has been the cost which has been upwards of $100 million a year," said Michael Widmer, executive director for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "The key test here for Massachusetts is, do you get enough bang for the buck?"
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Mass. credit strategy gets nod

Mar 30 2011

By Noah Bierman, The Boston Globe

Andrew C. Bagley, director of research and public affairs for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed group, said the latest credit reports amount to a validation that state government is not burying its head in the sand; it is dealing with the budget, and may well save $10 million to $15 million a year.
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$5M Cape ME office remains unstaffed

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Aug 26 2010

By Heather Wysocki, Cape Cod Times

Andrew Bagley, director of research for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said state operating budgets across the board have suffered "huge losses" over the past two years. By the time an infrastructure project is completed, its operating budget could have been slashed, he said.
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Cahill’s warnings absent in bond issue

Mar 24 2010

By Frank Phillips, The Boston Globe

At least one independent analysis, by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, has concluded that the health care law had put minimal additional strain on the state budget.
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Mass. lawmakers OK nearly $16 billion in borrowing

Aug 12 2008

Mass. lawmakers OK nearly $16 billion in borrowing

By Steve LeBlanc, AP

"They always pass these authorizations with a lot of fanfare as if they are going to spend the money immediately, but a lot of these bond bills are over five or ten years," Widmer said. "There is the issue of giving false expectations that they'll be spent in the near term." Widmer said the level of authorized borrowing, while unusual, doesn't pose a fiscal risk to the state in part because of a self-imposed cap on the amount of bonds the state can issue in a single year.
 

Administration looks to accelerate life science borrowing

Jul 30 2008

By Kyle Cheney/State House News Service, The Belmont Citizen-Herald

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said use of more than $75 million a year would be ill-advised.
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Cahill calls for turnpike overhaul

Jul 18 2008

By Eric Moskowitz, The Boston Globe

Budget watchdog Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, also blasted the administration's plan.

"This is one of the most irresponsible proposals I have seen seriously considered by the Legislature in my 16 years," said Widmer, whose organization is backed by business. "We are just heading off a cliff, Thelma and Louise, with a smile on our face."

Widmer called for a gas-tax increase and new tolls to help the Turnpike Authority meet the terms of its Big Dig-related debts.

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Pike rescue plan raises questions at Statehouse hearing

Jul 17 2008

By Eric Moskowitz, The Boston Globe

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed budget watchdog group, said a gas tax increase and tolls on Interstate 93 heading into Boston are needed and inevitable because of the Turnpike's financial problems, even if lawmakers don't acknowledge it yet.
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State may bail Pike out; what about T?

Jul 17 2008

By Greg St. Martin, Metro

According to the Patrick administration, the T's financial situation is also on its radar. But yesterday, Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association, said he would be concerned if the state helped ease the T's debt. He instead suggested the state should increase the gas tax and the agencies should hike fares to boost revenue.

 

"One of greatest risks here of the Commonwealth doing this is that the T is next," said Widmer, who is against the proposed Turnpike deal. "Not that the T doesn't need help, but putting the Commonwealth at risk is not the way to do it."

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