In The News

Baker is bracing to face a budgetary baptism of fire

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Jan 8 2015

By Joshua Miller, The Boston Globe

“The choices will be very difficult. Many worthy causes will be disappointed,” said Michael J. Widmer, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. While it will be hard for Baker, “I think there are enormous opportunities to improve how government manages itself,” Widmer said. “The circumstances will make that imperative.”
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Tax cut coming Jan. 1

Jan 7 2015

By Gary Tuoti, SouthCoast Today

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation projects a total state budget deficit of more than $1 billion.
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December tax collections up by 10 percent

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Jan 6 2015

By Michael Norton, State House News Service / Nashoba Publishing

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimated a larger budget gap, prompting Patrick's budget chief Glen Shor to dispute the foundation's assumptions.
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Baker: RMV bribery case is example of ‘broken’ fed immigration policy

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Jan 5 2015

By Matt Stout, The Boston Herald

Baker said he expects the deficit, while pegged at roughly $330 million by the Patrick administration, to be “certainly north of $500 million.” Other analysts, including the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, have estimated it could go as high as $750 million.

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Carbon tax could be tough sell on Beacon Hill

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Jan 4 2015

By Jay Fitzgerald, The Boston Globe

“The idea of a ‘carbon tax’ opens up a huge public policy question involving hundreds of moving pieces,” said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed fiscal watchdog group. “It won’t happen overnight. It will take a lot of time and a lot of debate to convince people.”
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Looming budget shortfall tops to-do list as Legislature heads to work

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Jan 4 2015

By Bob Salsberg, AP / The Lowell Sun

The new chair of the budget-writing panel will immediately become a key player in negotiations to close a deficit for the fiscal year ending July 1 that Patrick's administration has estimated at $329 million, but has been pegged at up to $1 billion by the independent Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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First Task For Baker Is To Close Budget Gap

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Jan 2 2015

By Paul Tuthill, WAMC

Widmer, who has run the business-backed fiscal watchdog organization for more than 20 years, estimates the total budget gap is $1 billion. "The ( Patrick) administration has taken steps to address about $250 million of that billion, so that would leave a hole of about $750 million," said Widmer.
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Mass. tax rate takes slight dip

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Jan 1 2015

By Joshua Miller, The Boston Globe

It is important to follow the will of the voters, “but there are serious consequences from a budgetary point of view,” said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. The drop in revenue contributes to a significant budget gap — estimated by some outside specialists at a whopping $750 million — that Charlie Baker will face when he becomes governor on Jan. 8.
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Gov. Patrick to adjust state legislators’ base pay

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Dec 29 2014

By Tiffany Chan, WWLP

“The only problem is the delay in the data so governor have had to figure out how to do that and there has been no consistent approach,” said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer.
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In managing economy, Baker needs a long view

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Dec 28 2014

By Megan Woolhouse, The Boston Globe

That’s because many of the economic forces at work are broad, complex, and ultimately outside a governor’s control — such as a recession, said Michael Widmer, president of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “A governor is largely, in the short term, the prisoner of the national economy,” Widmer said. “When it’s going up they get credit, and down they get blame.” Widmer, who has watched governors come and go in 22 years studying Massachusetts budgets, added: “And neither is deserved.”
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