In The News: FY 2013

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Massachusetts caps fiscal year with $1 billion surplus in tax collections

Jul 17 2013

By Dan Ring, The Republican

According to Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, total tax collections for the fiscal year are somewhat deceiving because much of the increase came from non-recurring revenues such as capital gains taxes and tax settlements. "The final number looks better than it really is because so much of it is one time," Widmer said.
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Tax dollars flow well above estimates after budget opened up

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May 9 2013

By Michael Norton, State House News Service / Pembroke Mariner

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer estimates more than half of the $510 million in above-benchmark revenues are one-time receipts associated with holiday season bonuses and capital gains taxes stemming from investment decisions made before new federal tax laws took effect this year. “Some of it is probably underlying improvement overall but I would say the lion’s share of that $500 million is probably one-time,” Widmer told the News Service.
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Bill gives businesses rate break on jobless insurance

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Feb 5 2013

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

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said that once savings called for in the bill are factored in, the net new spending is about $55 million to $60 million. "That's not a large amount of additional spending in and of itself," he said. "The main concern is the additional $200 million draw on the rainy day fund."
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Town braces for state aid cuts

Dec 14 2012

North Andover Citizen

Roughly speaking, Widmer said, the state budget has been under pressure through three years associated with the recent recession and the last two years which have featured modest economic growth, with rainy day fund and federal stimulus law funds driven into the budget and coupled with major spending cuts. "It is the longest period of fiscal pressures of this magnitude," Widmer said. "The economic recovery has been so weak both nationally and here that we haven’t had much in the way of revenues. That’s the sad reality. This is now the fifth year."
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State: 'New fiscal reality' declared as revenues lag

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Dec 12 2012

By Michael Norton and Matt Murphy , State House News Service / Lowell Sun

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimated fiscal 2014 tax revenues would grow 3.9 percent, in the middle of the range offered by DOR, with foundation president Michael Widmer saying "we are still a long way from experiencing the level of revenue growth of prior economic recoveries."

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No single cause in state’s economic slowdown

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Dec 7 2012

By Megan Woolhouse, The Boston Globe

Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, noted that the national economy grew at half the rate expected at the end of last year. Andre Mayer, senior vice president for research at Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the state’s largest employers’ group, noted the economic crisis in Europe and a slowdown in China’s booming economy.
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Patrick cuts spending by $225M, will seek to cut local aid

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Dec 4 2012

By Michael Norton and Matt Murphy, State House News Service / Malden Observer

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer, who monitors budget developments on behalf of the business-backed group, said he agreed with Patrick’s revised state revenue estimate. “The budget-cutting steps, while painful, are certainly necessary,” Widmer said.
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Governor eyes cuts in local aid

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Dec 4 2012

Gloucester Times

Widmer identified the impact of the midyear budget problems on the fiscal 2014 budget as the “larger issue,” estimating about $800 million in onetime revenues in the fiscal 2013 budget won’t be available for fiscal 2014, which begins on July 1, 2013. “That’s a huge hole the state faces for fiscal ‘14,” Widmer said.
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With Mass. Revenues Down, A Look At The State’s Fiscal Challenges

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Nov 27 2012

By Bob Oakes, WBUR

To look at the fiscal challenges facing Massachusetts, and some ways to get the state on more stable financial footing, the president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, Michael Widmer, joined Morning Edition Tuesday.
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MA State Deficit Could Crush Economic Recovery

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Nov 27 2012

By Joseph Drici, GoLocalWorcester

Going forward, however, increases to revenue may be necessary. "There's a broad discussion to raise transportation revenues to meet the huge shortfall in transportation needs," said Widmer. "In the end, that probably means one lead item for consideration would be increasing the gas tax."
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