In The News: Economy

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High debt weakens state fiscal standing, report finds

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Jul 20 2015

By Gabrielle Gurley, CommonWealth Magazine

Massachusetts got through the recession better than most states and is currently “sound,” said Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “There’s job growth, there’s investment, and a building boom in downtown Boston,” she said. “But when you look at the debt we are carrying…it’s something that we need to focus on as a Commonwealth.”
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More Massachusetts public employees getting paid parental leave

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Jun 16 2015

By Shira Schoenberg, MassLive

The expansions irk some fiscal conservatives. Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said she does not want to see the state mandate paid parental leave. She has mixed feelings about public employers providing it on their own. "On the one hand, it is a taxpayer expense at a time when there's considerable pressures on the budget already," McAnneny said, adding that some taxpayers are being asked to fund benefits for public workers that many of them do not have themselves. "On the other hand, the government often leads by example, and to the extent they're trying to pave the way, that may be an appropriate role as state employers," McAnneny said.
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Business leaders patient as snow, red ink occupy Baker

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Feb 6 2015

By Jon Chesto, The Boston Globe

Ash will also continue a tradition from the Patrick administration of holding regular, closed-door meetings with representatives from key business groups that include the Greater Boston Chamber, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Governor Deval Patrick’s hits and misses

Dec 17 2014

By Shirley Leung, The Boston Globe

When all is said and done,under Deval Patrick, businesses collectively pay at least $150 million more annually in taxes, according to Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick's term included effective investments, management failures, observers say

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Dec 17 2014

By Shira Schoenberg, Masslive

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the result of that effort shows the "disconnect between his focus and his vision on the one hand and the funding to support it on the other." Widmer called Patrick's transportation record a "disappointment." He said Patrick's decision to promote an income tax increase that was "dead on arrival" in the legislature resulted in a law that will not meet the state's needs.
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Convention center director leaves no loose ends

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Jul 14 2014

By Casey Ross, The Boston Globe

When he was reviewing the expansion plans, Michael Widmer, head of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said he was less concerned about the city’s role in the world than the project’s benefit to the local economy. Even today, he said, he is unsure of what that return will be. The project seems to be a sensible investment, Widmer said. “He’s made a persuasive argument,” he said. “But how many additional conventions will we get? The truth is we don’t know. Jim Rooney doesn’t know. Nobody knows. Whether this will pay for itself in some reasonable way, we’ll know that in another 10 years.”

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State’s taxpayer advocate sums up without division

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Jun 14 2014

By Renée Loth, The Boston Globe

For Widmer the win is not just for a town’s bottom line. “I see that as preserving teachers in the classroom and good benefits for public employees,” he said. The money saved could cut taxes, sure, but it could also be plowed back into hiring more police, firefighters, and teachers. “It actually preserves public sector jobs,” he said.
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Say no to Convention Center expansion

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Jun 12 2014

By Derrick Z. Jackson, The Boston Globe

“What’s of concern to me,” Widmer said, “is that there has not been a broader public discussion about the best use of limited dollars.”
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Editorial: Michael Widmer leaves substantial void on Beacon Hill

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Jun 1 2014

The Boston Globe

Last year, his warnings about an ill-conceived “tech tax” on computer services paved the way for a remarkably swift repeal. Widmer’s influence only grew over time, and he earned it in the best possible way: through solid facts, sharp analysis, and a palpable concern for the future of the Commonwealth. He will be sorely missed.
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Convention center expansion wins in House

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May 29 2014

By Donna Goodison and Matt Stout, The Boston Herald

“Even with hotel expansions, we won’t have an adequate number of hotel rooms in the immediate vicinity (of the BCEC), so we’ll still be behind many cities in that respect,” Widmer said. “And some of the projections about future conventions that would come to Boston are un­certain.”
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