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Report: Unfunded liabilities digging deeper fiscal hole

Oct 18 2013

By Lisa Hagen, The Lowell Sun

"The way the payment schedule is going to be structured is how much the state will contribute over the next 30 years to get unfunded liability to 0," said Widmer. "The way payment works right now has unfunded liability increasing for next several years."
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'Free service' retiree perk drawing fire

Oct 6 2013

By Lyle Moran, The Lowell Sun

Widmer said the benefit "makes no sense whatsoever." "It is an exceedingly generous benefit to earn pension credit when you are not working or collecting a salary," Widmer said. "It makes no sense at all other than a sweetheart deal with the unions."
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Broadside: Software tax protest in Mass.

Aug 15 2013

NECN

Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation agrees that the tax is a disaster, and says it isn't surprising that no one is defending the tax. "Well, clearly there wasn't an understanding of the scope of this tax I think on the part of the legislative leadership, certainly not on the part of the members," Widmer says. Widmer says the tax is the most far-reaching of its kind in the nation. "It affects every industry in the state - not just software, that's bad enough - and basically taxes innovation, investments that companies need to make to stay competitive," he says.
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Deval Patrick pushes back on Scott's sales pitch to Massachusetts businesses

Aug 9 2013

By Ed Martin, Miami Herald

Michael J. Widmer — president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed budget watchdog group — predicted other states will follow Florida in trying to lure Massachusetts businesses. “We’re turning our competitive advantage into a competitive disadvantage and, even if this is largely theater, it’s a preview of coming attractions,” said Widmer, whose group supports the ballot question to repeal the tax. “What this does is put a black mark on Massachusetts nationally.”
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It's 2,401 days and counting

Aug 1 2013

By Andy Metzger, State House News Service / The Salem News

“The governor, working with the Legislature, deserves high marks for the handling of the state’s long and deep fiscal crisis,” said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer. “It was a very difficult period for any governor, and Massachusetts performed much better than most of our comparable states.”
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Gov. Deval Patrick’s plan to cut tax breaks, boost education

Mar 5 2013

By Kristen Palpini, Gazettenet.com

“It’s hard to say what an average impact would be because there are so many different exemptions and deductions eliminated that are used by such a large number of residents,” said Carolyn C. Ryan, the policy analyst at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation who wrote a report on the governor’s revenue proposal.
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GUEST OPINION: Legislature must act on retiree health care reform

Jan 14 2013

By Michael J. Widmer, The Herald News

Building on the success of municipal health reform, the Legislature has an important opportunity in 2013 to address the issue of retiree health care liabilities that threaten to strangle the finances of cities and towns in Massachusetts. Unfunded municipal retiree health care liabilities total approximately $30 billion statewide, dwarfing the $13 billion in unfunded local pension liabilities.
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Editorial: Sharper focus on tax breaks

Nov 25 2012

The Worcester Telegram

The MTF analysis showed that Massachusetts has historically overstated its tax expenditures, claiming to forgo revenues it might collect if it were to tax food or professional services. But the report points out that such items are generally not taxed in most states, and many of the other “expenditures” the state has claimed are really just measures undertaken to comply with federal tax policies.
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Nelson Benton: Frank talk from mayors

Jun 8 2012

By Nelson Benton, The Salem News

The bill has allowed cities and towns to cut the amount they pay for employee health insurance, saving them, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, $117 million in the first year alone.

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Are We Lowering Health Costs Or Just Shifting Them To Consumers?

Jun 4 2012

By Martha Bebinger, CommonHealth/WBUR

“Changes in the marketplace in Massachusetts are far more fundamental and far-reaching than the report suggests,” says Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

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